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Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 18th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!
Week of October 12 – 18, 2019
If you would like to read this week’s issue with the ads included, click here.
New newsletter debuts tomorrow
If you are a subscriber to this newsletter, you will receive an email alert tomorrow (Sunday) for a brand-new newsletter with expanded news coverage as well as some of the features that previously appeared in this Saturday edition.
This Saturday edition no longer affords us the space to provide you with all the content that our writers create each week. And because more of you are reading on your smartphones, your newsletters are going on and on and on — simply too long, many readers report.
If you do not wish to read the Sunday newsletter, simply unsubscribe to your email alert. That will remove you from the Sunday newsletter only; you will still receive the alert for this Saturday edition.
Now, below, some great news that should ultimately increase pressure on RV manufacturers to build better RVs and, equally important, force them and their dealers to promptly fix serious defects that arise after purchase. If you don’t think this is a problem, visit our Facebook group RV Horror Stories, where readers report their frustrating experiences. This Facebook group, as well as the efforts of RVtravel.com and The RV Show USA have been a significant factor in forcing RV manufacturers to take action to build better RVs and to damn well service them promptly, and not take weeks, even months to fix (or try to fix) problems that should have been fixed before they were sold to unsuspecting customers.
Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
Marcus Lemonis wins his illegal flag battle (patriotism or PR stunt?) • California bans formaldehyde as holding tank chemical • Popular RV social media and radio host Alan Warren undergoes emergency surgery • Last week’s RV recalls • Current fuel prices • Free and inexpensive campground opportunities • PLUS MAJOR NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST WEEK
Court ruling could be “game changer” for RVers
With Russ and Tiña De Maris
Adecision by the Illinois Supreme Court has likely frightened the daylights out of U.S. RV manufacturers. While the RV industry has been not-so-quietly touting its prowess in lobbying states to ensure RVs don’t come under Lemon Laws, the Illinois decision simply stands that work on its head.
The case ended up before the high court after Kimberly Accettura and Adam Wozniak had a run-in with a dealer, Vacationland, Inc. In 2014 the couple bought a new RV, drove it off the lot, and within two months discovered a leaky window, which the dealer offered to fix; but a month later, more leaky windows allowed water into the rig, causing extensive damage.
Vacationland inspected the RV and told the couple that it couldn’t do the repair; the unit would have to be sent back to the manufacturer. Of course, the question every buyer would have is: “How long will that take?” Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer could say how long the couple would be without their rig while repairs were done. The RV sat on the lot for an additional two weeks before it was ever shipped back for the repair work.
THREE WEEKS AFTER sending the defective rig back to Vacationland, Kimberly and Adam decided they’d had enough. They called the dealer and told them the deal was off, they were revoking their acceptance of the RV, and demanded a refund of their money.
Presumably this left Vacationland staff speechless, because some six weeks later, the couple got a phone call advising them their RV had been repaired, and that they should pick it up. Kimberly and Adam got an attorney, who fired off a letter to the dealer demanding a refund of the purchase money, and making it perfectly clear the RV was rejected. They followed up later with a suit filed in county court, asking for the purchase price and damages.
So how did this end and why was the decision so earth-shattering in the RV world? Click here to find out.
Your input wanted
One of our most popular articles in recent times was “The Surprising Uses of WD-40.” We’ll pick up on that theme beginning next week with this question: What are some unique or unusual ways you use Windex? If you have a special use you’d like to share, here’s where to do it.
Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
• Winter RV battery maintenance.
• How to snag a campsite at popular parks.
• Controlling mold and mildew.
• Generator fumes: Send them sky high.
• Oops! The mistakes we make (and hopefully you do not!).
Most popular articles over the last six months
. . . in case you missed them the first round.
• Dealing with RV air conditioner “freeze ups.”
• Pros and cons of residential refrigerators in RVs.
• Thirty- and fifty-amp GFCIs in campgrounds are not a good idea.
• RVer dies after airborne RV crashes onto departing ferry boat.
• RV salesman spills the beans on Camping World sales tactics.
• Why one couple quit full-time RVing.
• The new American RVer is not a pretty sight.
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.
California burns … or goes dark in fear of burning
California is on fire again. Homes are going up in flames in the south. Freeways there are closed. In Northern California, PG&E turned off power to 600,000 people. Some of the power has been restored, some not. It seems to us that every time a disaster like this happens, the “lucky” people are those with RVs. Read more.
RV winterizing quick tips
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here are some quick tips for winterizing he posted for RVtravel.com while he was serving as our technical editor. Learn more.
How lazy are RVers about picking up spare change?
We know something about our readers that you don’t, gleaned through three polls over a few months. What we learned will likely surprise you. We found it fascinating.
Are you a “neat freak” or a slob?
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
How far did you travel to buy your present RV? Have you ever taken a self-defense class? How do your English skills compare with your math skills? Do you believe in Bigfoot? How difficult is it for you to make your monthly RV payments? Have you ever been denied service on an RV older than 10 years? All this, plus the history of Halloween and the secret of Candy Corn, right here.
Avoid hitting low obstacles with avoidance system
One of the most feared circumstances some RVers face is hitting a low bridge, roof or other obstacle. Visit YouTube and search for videos of trucks and large RVs losing their rooftop air conditioners or even their roofs when passing beneath a bridge or entering a tunnel. Ouch! The GiraffeG4 Low-Clearance Avoidance System addresses the overhead hazard problems that often face a trucker or RVer. Learn more.
Are we still “newbie” RVers?
How long is a person considered to be an RVing newbie? Is it so many camping trips or days before one graduates from this title? Is it a year? Read this post from RVtravel.com reader Betty Linneman and add what you think qualifies as a “newbie” RVer in the Comments below the article.
Congratulations to last week’s winner, John Astin of Mathias, Texas, who won the excellent guidebook RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks.
Popular articles from last week’s issue
• Another unsanitary RV park utility hookup.
• RV and RV-related recalls for September 2019.
• Problem: “Poop mountain” forms in black tank.
• How far did you travel to buy your present RV? (Survey with many comments.)
• That was the RV week that was, September 28 – October 4, 2019.
• New 12-volt RV fridge debuts.
• Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, October 4, 2019.
• 22 tips for choosing the best campsite.
• What we learned about you last week (September 28 – October 4).
• Top RV dealers named by industry publication.
• Will California’s diesel law affect you as an RVer?
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.
Ask the RV Shrink
Co-op discombobulation: To invest or not to invest in an RV lot
Dear RV Shrink:
Perhaps you can referee a disagreement between my husband and me. I want to invest in an RV lot in a co-op park; he does not. He has all kinds of reasons, none of which makes sense to me. He calls RV and mobile home parks “God’s Waiting Room.” He says they should give you a plot when they sell you a lot. Every time I bring the subject up he just says, “Shoot me!” …
Ask the RV Doctor
Reader’s RV antifreeze won’t circulate; also has dead “plug-ins”
I recently purchased a 2007 R-Vision Trail-Lite RV. I live in Iowa and am trying to winterize it but when I put the RV antifreeze in, I can’t get it to circulate throughout the system. Am I doing something wrong or do you think I have a bad pump? The owner’s manual has very sparse information. I also have a couple of plug-ins that don’t have any juice. Do you happen to know where I can get an electrical diagram for this camper? Thanks! —Bill A.
Space heater warning – 2019
It’s that time of year when the frost is on the pumpkin, so now is a good time to remind you about the dangers of portable electric heaters, both in your house and your RV. The Electrical Safety Foundation International says heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the U.S., with more than 65,000 fires being attributed to them each year. The ESFI reports the fires result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Learn how to avoid space heater fires here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:
Predator parallel generator power. A reader questions the power produced by parallel generators compared to what’s claimed in the ad.
Sign up for Mike’s popular (more than 4,000 members and growing!) and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.
RV Tire Safety
See Roger on The RV Show USA talking RV tires and “China bombs”
This summer Roger Marble was interviewed on The RV Show USA with Alan Warren. The first video regards RV tires in general, including what causes tire failure. The second video focuses on “China bombs.” Great information! Watch the videos here.
Building an RV Park
It’s freezing, but wonderful, at the campground!
On Thursday, Machelle and AJ were preparing for their first winter freeze (17 degrees!) in their almost-finished new home. They’ve been busy with company and new friends in town, and meeting with the Heber-Overgaard Fire Chief William “Dee” McCluskey. But little has happened regarding the campground while they’re waiting to hear back from their engineers. Read more.
The RV Kitchen
Impossible Taco Pie
Not just another “impossible” pie. Dozens of these “impossible” pie recipes have been around for a while. This one may be new to you. It makes a whole meal including salad because it’s served with heaps of shredded lettuce, sliced scallions and diced fresh tomatoes. Get the recipe.
The Digital RVer
Your navigation system should tell you more than just “Turn right here”
Most RVers are probably like Chris and Jim Guld, Geeks on Tour, and frequently travel to places they’ve never been – and need all the detail they can get to make sure they’re taking the right roads. But how do you get more detail, including street names, from your Google Maps or Waze navigation system? Easy! Chris tells you how here.
Facebook Groups of Interest
• RVing With Dogs Club
• How to RV for Newbies
• Extreme Low Budget RV Living
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.
A dog’s nose print is like the fingerprint of a person: no two are alike. The Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting dog nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. This pet identification system is patented in the U.S., although it does not appear to be available commercially.
Bumper sticker of the week
Don’t worry about what people think – they don’t do it very often.
Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com
Joke of the Week
Before I die I am going to eat a whole bag of unpopped popcorn. That should make the cremation a little more interesting.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. —Anon.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
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.
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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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