Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 918

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    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!

    If you would like to read this week’s issue with the ads included, click here.

    Week of October 19–25, 2019


    Editor’s corner

    With Chuck Woodbury

    I took a break from writing this past week to work on long-term planning for this newsletter and website. Here is an essay I wrote nine years ago, on October 23, 2010, which I believe is still timely.

    Looking out the front window of my RV I see barren, brown hills of Wyoming. A month ago, out of that same window, I saw the Statue of Liberty. And the next week I witnessed the magnificent, exploding fall colors of the Northeast.

    Oh, the places I have been, the things I have seen since I left home more than two months ago! My mind is about to burst from so much stimulation.

    The last few days I have done something I shouldn’t do — drive my motorhome like a car — fast, on interstates, with the sole purpose of getting home as quickly as possible. Really, to drive an RV at such a pace is as ridiculous as chugging a fine wine. But, I am doing it.

    The tug of home —once you decide that is where you want to be — is very strong, like a giant magnet that pulls harder the closer you get. Traveling back roads, pausing to explore local attractions — well, they hold no interest for me when all I can think about is being home, back to all things familiar.

    A friend of mine talks often about “the yin and the yang” of things. That’s me — I enjoy one life at home, the other on the road. Together, they balance me. One day, perhaps health or circumstance will keep me in one place or the other. Until then I suppose I’ll just keep coming and going.

    When you are returning home from a long RV trip, do you have a similar feeling? Or not? Please leave a comment below.

    chucksignature

    P.S. More than 25,000 of you read this article the day it appeared last Saturday: “Court ruling could be “game changer” for RVers. If you missed it, here’s another opportunity.

    BUSINESS NOTE: This website now has 6,324 posts and 39,892 comments from readers. In the last 30 days it was most popular with readers in these American cities (in order): New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Portland (Oregon) and Las Vegas.

    My Roadside Journal

    (about whatever is on my mind, not necessarily RV-related)


    Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

    • National Park may slash benefits to Senior Pass holders.
    • Camping World RV transporters lose jobs.
    • More than 10,000 Starcraft trailers recalled.
    • Couple sue Forest River, claim their RV has been in repair shop for 340 days.
    • Big logs dumped by curb in Oakland to keep away “homeless” RVers.
    PLUS
    : Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV Shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and Bargain Camping locations.


    Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
    Be prepared for an RV fire with practice drills.
    Be courteous when arriving late at campsite.
    Easy way to keep cupboard contents in place.
    Is a “Campground Full” sign always correct?
    8 tips for creating a “rainy day bin” for kids and grandkids.

    Popular articles you may have missed…
    RV battery disconnect switches: how, when and why.
    Think your RV is locked when you turn the key? Think again.
    We tried an RV roof coating. Here’s our six-year report.
    RV comes with big soaking bathtub.
    Adjusting trailer brake controllers.

    Keep informed
    Current Wildfire Report.
    National Hurricane Center.


    Campground Chatter

    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.


    Video: Big win for RVers in Illinois Supreme Court

    We posted an article about this last week, but here’s more on the recent landmark court decision that could be a game-changer for RVers with defective RVs. Watch a video or save bandwidth by listening to the audio only.

    The weirdest RV you have ever seen?

    Our bet is you have never seen an RV like this. And guess what — it’s for sale for a mere $29,000! There is no doubt you will ever stay with this at an RV park without other RVers hounding you with questions about it. Read more, see a pic, and watch a short video of it in action.

    How to prepare for a roadside emergency

    We all love our RVs and the lifestyle, but, on occasion, Murphy’s Law takes over. It’s inevitable. By being prepared, you can minimize the inconvenience of a breakdown and get back on the road safe and sound. Here are some ways you can prepare.

    Don’t forget to take care of your RV’s frame

    As advanced as today’s RVs are, one thing that seems to be overlooked by many manufacturers is the finish of the frame. But even if the RV had a great paint job on the undercarriage, it would still need some care from time to time to protect it for the long run. Learn from Chris Dougherty, Certified RV Technician, how to prevent premature failure of your RV’s frame here.


    Reader Poll

    Reader Poll

    Have you ever had to move from your campsite because of a bad neighbor?

    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

    Are you a neat freak or a slob? How often do you eat off paper plates while RVing (we were surprised). Have you ever broken a bone? Men, how often do you wear a necktie? Should the penny stick around? As a child did you read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books? What device do you use to take most of your photos? All this and more, right here.

    13 surprising ways to use Windex

    What else can you use Windex for besides cleaning mirrors and windows? Well, it turns out that neon-blue spray is useful for many things around the house or RV. We asked you, our favorite readers, what you use it for. Here’s what you said.

    Next issue: What are some unique or unusual ways you use toothpaste? If you’d to share your technique here’s where to do it.

    Eight tips for creating a “rainy day bin” for kids

    RV parents, grandparents and guardians know that scattered rain showers in the forecast mean it will rain on their campsite. Creating a rainy day bin is a great way to keep the kiddos occupied without spending the entire day on their tablets or other electronics. Read more.


    Video: Taking the Iridium electric-powered motorhome for a spin

    Last month we talked about Iridium, a “coming soon” electric motorhome to be released to the European marketplace next year. We were a bit concerned about the top-of-the-line Iridium which promises 249 miles between charges. A YouTube.com release shows a bit more about this interesting rig, including a walk-through view of the rig and a test drive. The video speaks for itself…. However, one thing that came out in the video is the matter of charge times. Learn more.

    Winnebago’s amazing flying motorhomes

    STORY AND VIDEO: In 1976, Orlando Helicopter Airways in cooperation with Winnebago Industries marketed the Winnebago Heli-home, built on a Sikorsky S-55 or S-58 helicopter. Gas powered, these helicopters were well suited to become the flying carpets for the RV set, even though few could afford the $300,000 price tag. Learn more.

    Be kind to your RV batteries this winter … or else!

    Special care is needed in the winter to keep your RV batteries in shape. If mistreated, they could be ruined – and that’s not good, not to mention costly. Here’s advice about how to care for your batteries this winter.

    Winnebago pumps big investment in e-vehicle developer

    While European RVers will soon have the ability to buy electric-driven motorhomes, no U.S. manufacturers have successfully moved to market. But there is a glimmer of light – Winnebago and GMAG Holdings Corporation recently pumped a $60 million investment in funding to Motive Power Systems, a California-based company that builds all-electric chassis for mid-sized commercial vehicles. Learn more.


    No contest this issue.

    But we’ll be back next week.

    Congratulations to last week’s winner, Skip Gimbrone of Yuma, Arizona, who won a very cool mini drone.


    Popular articles from last week’s issue

    Illinois lemon RV ruling may be a game-changer.
    Camping World flag flap finished.
    Washing your RV when on the road.
    RV winterizing quick tips.
    The RV Shrink: Co-op discombobulation: To invest or not to invest in an RV lot.
    Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, October 11, 2019.
    What we learned about you last week (October 5-11).
    Your navigation system should tell you more than just “Turn right here”.
    RV Electricity: Space heater warning – 2019.
    RVers awarded $500,000 in Winnebago “lemon” lawsuit.


    Resources

    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.

    RV Clubs
    Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

    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

    Teamwork important during “senior moments”

    Dear RV Shrink:
    I’m starting to worry about my co-pilot. After going over our departure checklist she sat down in her seat and seemed ready to roll. The problem was the slides were still out and the jacks were still down. It bothered her more than me that she forgot. I usually do the outside chores while she readies the inside. Do you think I should take over all the departure duties? I’m hoping it was just a senior moment. —Forgot to Remember in Freeport

    Read the RV Shrink’s advice.


    Ask the RV Doctor

    Do’s and don’ts for storing your RV

    Fall is here, with memories of our summer RVing excursions still lingering in our minds. But with the coming chill also comes the thought of putting our RV into storage mode. Though seemingly a mundane task, there are certain steps to get your coach ready for any period of non-use, especially if you are contemplating utilizing one of the available private or public storage facilities. Certain precautions, correctly applied, will guarantee your coach will stand a better chance of surviving its secluded hibernation. (Yes, we’ve published this before – but it’s great information for those storing their RVs for the first time, or as a reminder for veteran RVers.) Learn more.


    RV Electricity

    GFCI Theory

    Read all about ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in Part 8 of Mike’s 12-part series on basic electricity for RV users and how to protect yourself and your family from shocks and possible electrocution. In addition, this series could protect your RV’s appliances, entertainment systems and computers from going up in smoke. Find out what GFCIs are, how they work and why they are absolutely essential. Learn more.

    This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session:

    Leggo my WAGO… Mike explains why the WAGO 221 lever-action splicing block could be the greatest innovation in wire splicing technology since the invention of the wire nut.

    Sign up for Mike’s popular and informative RV Electricity group on Facebook.


    RV Tire Safety

    Run-flat tire device information

    Starting in 1972 Roger Marble worked on a number of different “Advance Tire” projects. Some were looking at an “aftermarket” device that could be placed inside a tire to offer some “run-flat” capability. Roger explains various systems and their drawbacks here.


    RV Short Stop

    Gettysburg is definitely worth a visit

    If Gettysburg, PA, is on your Bucket List – GO. It will not be a disappointment. Thanks to the forethought of early Gettysburg residents, most of the battlefield and surrounding area have been preserved in much of their 1863 configuration. It is a powerful experience when one remembers that the Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. The film “A New Birth of Freedom” and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War can’t be missed. Read Julianne Crane’s post and start planning your trip.


    RV Fire Safety

    Educate your guests, just in case

    Show travelers (guests) how to unhook electricity (screw-on cords can be tricky) and how to close propane valves, in case either of these measures is called for.


    The world’s largest…

    Get your teeth cleaned at the world’s largest truck stop

    At Iowa 80 in Walcott, Iowa, you can fill up on gas, get yourself a bite to eat, view some show trucks, see a movie, get your hair cut, get a back and neck adjustment from a chiropractor and, yes, even get your teeth cleaned. Read more about the world’s largest truck stop right here.


    Museum of the Week

    Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum

    Boulder City, Nevada

    For Monster Museum owner Tom Devlin, it’s Halloween year-round. Tom has been working as a special effects artist for horror and sci-fi films since 2001 (he’s behind the magic in more than 100 feature films!) and opened his museum in an abandoned building in Boulder City to show off his work … and his love for monsters. The museum is part gallery, part hall-of-fame, part haunted house (we made that up, but that’s what we assume it would be like) – and everything in it has been created by Tom himself. If you’re in Nevada, eat drink and be scary and visit the Monster Museum today. Visit the official museum website here.


    Trivia

    Costco sold 91 million $4.99 rotisserie chickens last year, more than double the number from ten years ago. According to the USDA and the National Chicken Council, the average American consumes about 95 pounds of chicken per year, compared to 57 pounds of beef, 52 pounds of pork and 16 pounds of turkey.

    Bumper sticker of the week

    This bumper sticker intentionally left blank.

    Have you seen a funny bumper sticker? Send it to diane(at)RVtravel.com

    Joke of the Week

    Every morning for the past six months, I’ve announced loudly to my family that I’m going for a jog, and then I haven’t. … It’s a running joke.

    Worth Pondering

    Every path has a few puddles. —Anon.


    Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

    Read it here | Back issues

    If you have not contributed to RVtravel.com for some time and would like to do so again, you may do so here.


    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, Machelle James, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

    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.

    Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

    This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com.

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    Don Self

    Last week, we finished up a 9,200 mile, 3 ⅓ month trip to the west, northwest (from Texas) in our 41 foot 5r. Great trip, loved it, made great memories. When we finished seeing family in northeast Oklahoma , I was like a horse heading to the barn to get home.

    Larry

    For us there is not a big difference between heading out and going home. We usually have a destination in mind and I am goal oriented (some might say anal LOL) enough that I tend to take the most direct route, but I have learned not to drive as quickly when towing the trailer. However, two of the most memorable trips were when we stopped along the way to tour the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Indiana, and when the dog and cat and I went off by ourselves and took a leisurely trip home by going through Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan on our way from Kansas City to Western Pennsylvania. (We had to leave Momma behind to be Grandma for our son’s little girl while her mother had surgery.)

    As we get older, we are learning it is much less tiring to break trips up into smaller pieces by spending extra days on the road and driving for fewer hours.

    Geoff

    I usually feel down as the trip is now ending.
    Whether it is a convention or other type of work, a vacation in our TT or Airbnb, even a long drive; we seem to be in no rush to get home, we usually arrive home after dark!

    Just seems sad to us that the trip is ending.

    Dan

    We are very content and blessed to be snowbirds for the last eight years traveling to the same Florida rv park and for staying 4-5 months . When we get to our winter destination, we are home again. We know all the the different cities, shopping, restaurants, etc. that are close to our park. The best part is all the friends that we have made in the USA and Canada. We stay in contact with lots of these folks all year long.

    There are many places we enjoy visiting on our way south. It takes us 7 to 10 days to make our 1200 mile trip going and coming each fall and spring. “Home” is always where we park our rig. We both are second generation snowbirds and I would give anything to hear our parents rv stories now.

    But, it is still nice to get back home each spring to all of our stuff and stay there for a while. We always get the same questions from our friends at home ….. What do you do down their all winter? Just living our life, enjoying the sunshine, and day tripping a lot.

    Thankfully my bride of 50+ years is always up for a road trip, even if it’s only to Walmart.

    Chuck, thanks for all of your hard work over the years. Many of us appreciate you and your staff.

    Garry Hammond

    I agree Chuck.
    If home was a light, I am was moth.
    Actually, I was like that going anywhere too, get there as fast as possible.
    Just “mega drive” until you’re there.

    That all changed this year for the first time.
    While travelling from Canada to central Virginia (a 12 hour drive), we made our first stop after 6 hours in Pennsylvania at a Boondockers Welcome host, and my wife and I got along so well with the hosts, that we stopped there again for three days on the way back home.

    Our second stop was after a four hour drive, to a Harvest Host site in northern Virginia “Barrel Oak Winery & Tap House” – Highly recommend this very dog-friendly place – we stopped there for two nights on the way down, and liked it so much, stayed back there for one night on the way to Pennsylvania.

    The third leg was just over three hours to our destination, where we stayed for 3+ weeks.
    The shorter drives were much less stressful.

    All to say, I’m trying to make the journey more important, and not just the destination.
    I still have to undergo more “training”, but I’m really liking the new format.
    Cheers!

    littleleftie

    We love longish trips…but we love coming home, too. And yes, we are often guilty of having “head-for-home-itis”. Maybe it’s because we HAVE a home that we relish our return there. Should we one day become full-timers, where our rig is our home, likely that may change. But as Dorothy said “there’s no place like home”. I agree.

    Kermit Burns

    Our RV is our only home, so I guess it doesn’t matter how fast we go from place to place (prefer to avoid the Interstate, if possible). However, when we’re headed to Florida for the winter, or to visit one of our three children, we usually stick to the fastest route.

    DOMINIC B LABARBERA

    I’m guilty of the head for home with blinders. The next trip I’m gonna really make an effort to ease up and relax.

    Gene Bjerke

    Like Chuck, we love traveling. We take at least two longer trips a year. But there comes a time on every trip when we say, “I guess it’s about time to head for home,” and we turn in the direction of home. Sometimes we roll down the interstate, but more often we continue to follow the secondary roads, we just keep aiming toward Virginia. I guess we’ll never be full-timers, but that’s okay.

    Impavid

    The closer we get to home we often make a run for it. It’s always good to get away but always good to get home too.