Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 922

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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!

    Week of November 16–22, 2019

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


    Guest Essay

    Full-time RVers wonder: “What are we doing out here? Are we simply on a never-ending vacation? Do we have goals? What’s our purpose? Are we just wandering? What happens to RVers who never need to go home?”

    By Charlie Ketchum

    A

    s full-time travelers, it’s been a challenge for my wife and me to define what our purpose is. Are we just wandering? Do we want to see all 50 states? All the beaches? All the national parks? Museums? Are we living to write a blog or writing the blog about what we’re living? Is a few days too short of a stay? Is a few months too long? If we stop for six months does that mean we aren’t travelers anymore? If we only stay a night, does that mean we’re missing seeing something important?

    In the two years we’ve been traveling, we have tried it all. And we’ve enjoyed it all. Until we didn’t. The problem with living on vacation is that it’s EXHAUSTING. If you vacation like we did, the point was to see as much as you can in as short of a time as you can. Because in two weeks, you are back at your desk for the next six months or more. What happens when you don’t have to go home?

    If you still try to see it all wherever you go, and stay everywhere you go for only a couple of weeks, it’s like the vacation that never ends. I can’t be the only one who has been glad to go home to take a break from vacation…

    Continue reading.


    Editor’s Roadside Journal

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


    Stories in tomorrow’s news edition

    Top Story: Popular trailers recalled: “Don’t tow them until they’re fixed,” says manufacturer.
    • Latest developments on the Padre Island murders.
    • Government committee backs down. Commercialism of National Parks put on hold.
    • Mississippi couple could face jail time for living in their RV in their driveway.
    • New car debuts with no windshield. George Jetson would be impressed.

    PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …

    Headline stories from last Sunday’s newsletter
    New pickup truck has 300,000 pound towing capacity.
    Lightning puts hole in RV’s roof. Big damage. Insurance company balks!
    Suspect in Padre Island RVers murders arrested.


    Keep informed
    Current Wildfire Report.
    National Hurricane Center.

    Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips
    Route planning tips.
    RV journal writing.
    Get more airflow from your ducts?
    Saving for the breakdown.
    Keep those air conditioner coils clean.


    The second most important step in buying an RV

    Editor’s note: Digging through old issues for long-lost but still relevant articles, we came upon this article by long-time contributor Jim Twamley. What Jim wrote here is just as relevant today. So once again, here’s why the pre-delivery inspection is critical when you purchase an RV. Important information.

    Full-time RVing: Sell the house to hit the road?

    One of the critical issues for those considering the full-time RV lifestyle is whether or not to sell the “landlocked” home. It’s not only a financial and physical question, it also touches deeply on the heart. After all, you may have raised the kids here, cultivated friendships, and seen important milestones. Much must be weighed in the balance. Learn more.

    Got a motorhome? Enjoy life more with a dinghy

    If you intend to travel in a motorhome, think seriously about towing a transportation vehicle. … No getting around it, towing a dinghy (transportation vehicle) maximizes the freedom and convenience of traveling in a motorhome. Learn much more in this post by Jared Montgomery.


    Reader Poll

    Is there someone in your life you can’t please no matter how hard you try?

    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 RVers friendlier than the general public? Has water ever dripped into your RV in a bad rainstorm? Have you ever served in the military? If you play solitaire, on what device do you most often play? Do you give your pets special food on Thanksgiving? Describe your attention span. How often do you see a movie in a movie theater? All this and more, right here.

    Postcard of the week: Wow, this is big! Plus a cool recipe

    This postcard honors something really big in one state famous for smaller versions of it. What is it? And what is the surprising use of it that you’d never think of? Plus a recipe you have likely not seen before. Read more.

    Future of RVing: Self-driving RVs getting closer

    You’ve heard about self-driving cars, right? Tesla, Google and Uber have all jumped on the bandwagon and have put millions into funding for cars that have computers as the driver behind the wheel. … For the sake of our interests here, … let’s gossip about how cool-looking Hymer’s new design is for their self-driving RV. Check it out (including the video).


    The Quartzsite “Crud” and other Snowbird tales

    Right now, in Quartzsite, AZ, the Snowbird Capital of America, the scene is changing. On Highway 95, shooting down from Lake Havasu and Parker, a steady stream of travel trailers, motorhomes and fifth wheels is rolling into the dusty outpost. Grocery store shelves are becoming more empty than full. The snowbirds are making their presence known. Read more from Quartzsite residents Russ and Tiña De Maris. (This was written while Russ was dealing with the Quartzsite “Crud.”)

    RV SnapPad debuts new, smaller pads

    Origen RV Accessories, parent company to RV SnapPad, has released its new product line, the SnapPad Mini. The new Mini collection features the company’s smallest SnapPads yet, which are made specifically for some smaller RVs. Learn more.


    Popular articles from last week

    Is RVtravel.com all about bashing Camping World?
    5 Mistaken assumptions the new full-time RVer makes.
    RV Tire Safety: Should ST tires be outlawed?
    Amazon deliveries to your National Park campsite?
    What you should know about lug nuts.
    Don’t be a sucker: Internet safety for RVers.
    Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, November 8, 2019.
    RV Shrink: Are smartphones a smart investment for RVers?
    What we learned about you last week (November 2-8).


    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.

    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.

    Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.


    Winterizing? Read these articles.

    RV winterizing quick tips
    Preparing the RV for winter storage
    RV not winterized; camping; temp dropped to 25; worried!
    How to winterize an RV washer/dryer combo
    How much does it cost to run an electric heater?
    Keeping RV water lines from freezing during cold winter use
    Our bathroom sink P-trap froze!
    Not all RV antifreeze is created equal


    Ask the RV Shrink

    Visit Mexico in RV? Husband says “No.” Wife says “Si.”

    Dear RV Shrink:
    My wife wants to go to Mexico with our new motorhome this winter. I am just not comfortable with that idea, plus there is a travel warning issued by the State Department. Is it safe? Should I just put my foot down and tell her we are not going? —Nervous in Nevada

    Read the RV Shrink’s advice and about his personal experience.


    Ask the RV Doctor

    Can RV be stored off-level without damaging the fridge?

    Dear Gary,
    I understand it is recommended that RV refrigerators be level when operating, but how far “off-level” can we keep the RV without damage to the refrigerator when the refrigerator is NOT in operation, i.e., when it’s in storage? And do you recommend it be slightly off-level for winter storage? —Pete S.

    Read Gary’s response.


    RV Electricity

    GFCI testing

    Read more about ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in Part 10 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. In this installment, find out how GFCIs work, what causes them to trip, and how to easily “upgrade” an inexpensive clamp-on ammeter to work like a very expensive one. Learn more.

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

    AC meter usage. Mike explains how to use digital meters.

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


    RV Tire Safety

    Basic tip about DIY emergency equipment for your RV

    Roger Marble illustrates the importance of testing and confirming that your DIY “emergency” equipment will actually do what you expect on your RV, as well as the necessity of knowing how to use it. Learn more.


    Tax Corner

    Establishing a full-time RVing “home state” for taxes

    Accountant Neil Seidler answers a question about where to establish a home base for full-time RVing. Read it here.


    RV Short Stop

    Numerous holiday events for Winter Texan RVers

    Here are some wonderful ways to celebrate the holidays throughout Texas, whether you’re there for the winter or just passing through. Festivities include exhibits, food, a Christmas Village, food, millions of lights, entertainment … did we mention food? – in Dallas, New Braunfels (south of Austin), and Tomball (northwest of Houston). Learn more.


    RV Fire Safety

    Make sure your smoke detector works

    Test your smoke detector(s) regularly, and make sure all travelers know what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. If you didn’t check your smoke detectors when we recently changed back to Standard Time, check them now, before you forget.


    Museum of the Week

    From the official @meowwolf Instagram. And yes, there is an option to “slide” into a washing machine.

    Meow Wolf

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Just outside Santa Fe is Meow Wolf, a totally bizarre interactive museum. More than 400 artists and employees have worked together to create the museum (which is currently expanding and will soon open in both Denver and Las Vegas) which includes art forms such as architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance and more! What’s it like inside? You’ll discover a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and an expansive narrative amidst surreal, mesmerizing art exhibits. If it sounds bizarre, that’s because it is. Get more of an idea of what it’s like on its official website.


    Trivia

    The first football helmet was, by some accounts, constructed in 1893 by an Annapolis shoemaker at the request of U.S. Naval Academy cadet Joseph Mason Reeves, who’d been told that one more blow to the head would end his naval career and maybe his life.

    Bonus Trivia: What state’s name can be typed entirely on one row of the typewriter keyboard? If you give up, the answer is in last Monday’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter.

    Bumper sticker of the week

    Got stopping distance?

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

    Joke of the Week

    From Tom Hart
    They’re back! Church Ladies With Computers. These sentences (with bloopers) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
    • Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
    • Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.

    Worth Pondering

    “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” —John Steinbeck


    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.

    Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
    • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Tom and Lois Speirs • Alan Warren • Steve Barnes + others who we will add later.

    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.

    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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    Jere Jarrell

    I can’t open your “read more” pages as I get your request to sign up for the newsletter and I can’t get it to go away so I can read the rest of the article—– what am I doing wrong

    Susan Smith

    Having trouble opening some of the articles and also wondered if after I read an article that you always have to go out and start newsletter all over again

    John T

    I know my smoke detector works. It goes off every time I make toast. It must be some chemical they put in the bread that evaporates off.

    bwodom

    It has been a few weeks now since the change-over to the two-part weekend newsletter. IMHO, it feels too much like getting involved in my favorite TV show, only to have the screen show the words “…tune in next week for part two.” Sorry, but I liked the all-in-one edition better.