Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 936

    22

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    February 22, 2020

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


    Editor’s corner

    With Chuck Woodbury

    I never have room in one issue to delve adequately into my thoughts about the evolution of RVing, and the many challenges you and I face today as RVers. But I had a lot of time last week. So I wrote like a crazy man. This is the first installment of a series that will continue every weekend until I have said everything I want to say. 

    The RV industry and you

    For nearly 20 years I have written an essay in this space almost every week. For 15 years before that I wrote them for my quarterly “on the road newspaper” Out West and for newspapers worldwide via syndication by The New York Times.

    I traveled by RV all those years, but until RVtravel.com came along in the late 1990s, I didn’t write much about RVing other than an occasional mention that I traveled in a motorhome. The late Charles Kuralt, CBS TV’s beloved on-the-road correspondent, did the same. He called his motorhome a “bus.” You see, back then travel with an RV was not cool, just the opposite. A recreational vehicle was “Grandma and Grandpa’s Playhouse.” My 30-something baby boomer friends wanted nothing to do with one; backpacking was the thing. RVing was for old people. I was an oddball, out there hanging out with people my parent’s age. The most popular RV bumper sticker of the day was “We’re Spending Our Children’s Inheritance.”

    Popular RV bumper sticker 30 years ago.

    I got to know these older folks well. I was “the kid,” and was treated like a son. I enjoyed a lot of free dinners from senior citizens who felt sorry for me being alone. And then one day I woke up and time had passed and I was no longer the youngster, but the same age as those “grannies and grandpas” of yesteryear. You want to know something? Today’s older RVers are indistinguishable from those of 30 years ago, only the equipment has changed.

    ONE BIG DIFFERENCE TODAY is that RVing is suddenly very trendy. Millennials are standing in line to buy one. Most buy cheap ones that will fall apart in five to ten years, if not sooner. Truth be told, some of those entry-level RVs are seriously defective right off the sales lot but need significant work that can take weeks or months. The RV industry announced just this week that the average repair at an RV dealership takes 21 days. That’s just the average.

    The overall dependability of new RVs has never been worse. In a reader poll we conducted in 2017, 22 percent of our readers rated the workmanship on their RVs as poor or terrible. That’s one out of five. If that same percentage held true for manufacturers of cars, TVs, bicycles or furniture, the companies would go bust.

    Today’s buyers, with stars in their eyes, get suckered by high pressure salespeople into financing their RVs for 15 or 20 years. Camping World has perfected the art of selling long-term loans. “Oh, we can afford $400 a month,” the would-be buyers say. They forget about taxes, insurance, registrations, maintenance, storage fees (53% of RVtravel readers pay to store their RV) and replacement parts (like new tires at least every seven years). Meanwhile RV industry flacks send out an annual news release citing statistics that “prove” that travel by RV is the cheapest way to take a vacation. That, my RVtravel friend, is a bald-faced lie! I took a class in college titled “Lying with Statistics,” where I learned you can make a case for anything by twisting the data.

    The terms on this motorhome are $542 a month for 20 years. From the time the buyer drives off the lot until shortly before it is paid off, the buyer will be upside down on the loan, unable to sell it without coming up with cash to pay off the loan deficit.

    Consider this: You buy a new RV, finance it, and use it a month a year, which is typical with Millennials and others who are still working (many, if not most, will use it even less). The rest of the time the RV sits, often at the mercy of the elements. All the while the owner makes monthly payments and pays other RV-related expenses.

    Under those circumstances, get out your calculator and figure out the annual cost of owning the RV, and then apply that to the one month you used it. How much did that one month really cost you? Don’t forget to figure the RV’s depreciation of $500-$1,000 a month (conservative, ballpark figure that is often much higher).

    Now compare that to taking a car trip, camping in a tent with an occasional motel stay, and otherwise being frugal. When you return home, your trip expenses are finished. I don’t think many people finance a tent for 15 years. Compare an RV vacation with renting an Airbnb cottage at the ocean. When you return home, no more payments until you take your next trip.

    I suggest that if you travel three months or more a year with an RV and compare the cost to staying in hotels, the RV could be the less expensive way to take a “vacation” (and, of course, a whole lot more convenient and comfortable). But for the industry to boast that RV travel is the “least expensive way to take a vacation” is a joke. Sad to say, the advertising-dependent RV industry media prints this nonsense because it’s free copy and it makes their advertisers happy. Who cares about facts?

    CONTINUED TOMORROW IN OUR SUNDAY EDITION: Is this just doom and gloom on my part? And after that … If the RV industry were a sports team, it would never win a game.

    chucksignature

    My Roadside Journal

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


    Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

    • Part Two of editor’s essay “The RV industry and you”
    • Two-year-old dies after falling into septic tank in RV park in Aransas Pass, Texas.
    • You can buy Bret Michaels’ tricked-out RV and get free tickets to a show and meet-and-greet as a bonus!
    • Jayco claims the Number 1 selling travel trailer is the Jay Flight – for the 15th year in a row.
    PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …


    Keep informed
    Current Wildfire Report.
    National Hurricane Center.


    Spotted in Lake Havasu City. Quite a setup, huh?


    Last week’s featured stories in RV Daily Tips

    Easy generator carrying for your travel trailer
    Does your RV have a “cool” roof? Color matters
    RV shopping? Some trends to be aware of
    Camping versus RVing: What’s the difference?
    Texting in traffic – Coping with a distracted driver


    RV makers putting heat on buyers who don’t read their warranty

    A lemon law attorney reports that RV manufacturers are filing motions against its customers for not reading their factory warranty at the time of sale. Some are voiding warranties of buyers who live in their RVs full time or use them for commercial purposes. Learn more.

    What to do if your propane tank gets overfilled

    By Heidi Bodette
    Loving the RV Life
    Has your RV propane tank ever been overfilled? Well, it happened to us in January. Here’s what we learned so you can help ensure it doesn’t happen to you. Read more.

    Milestone reached for Harvest Hosts

    We’re happy to announce that our hard-working friends at Harvest Hosts have reached a major milestone. On February 20, the company added its 1,000th host to its fast-growing list of unique free camping locations across the U.S. and Canada, including wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums, etc. Read more.

    Readers reveal their favorite RV mods or add-ons, Part 2

    A few weeks ago we asked you about some of your favorite things you’ve done to modify your RV. We got dozens of emails and comments, so now we’re back with Part 2. These are great!


    Brain Teaser

    What question can you never answer “yes” to? (Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)


    Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles

    Couple confesses their RV buying mistakes. This video will make you mad
    Ever wish a road you traveled had a sign like this?
    You kidding? Deer reading deer crossing signs? (This is funny!)
    RV is toast, flames refuse to die
    Fire danger avoided in RV with questionable wiring


    Reader Poll

    For every 100 nights in your RV, how often do you have a wood campfire?

    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.


    Readers tell us (What we learned about you last week)

    We analyze what we learned about you and fellow RVers from our reader polls and your comments.

    Do you use your RV mostly to camp, travel or live?
    Do you use cruise control in rain or bad weather?
    Have you ever replaced any of the furniture in your RV?

    A sad day for snowbird capital Quartzsite

    When you’re a kid, and your eyes are big and wide, taking it all in, there are some things that just won’t ever change. One of them is Grampa. Bigger than life, full of fun, and a good lap to cuddle on – there’s nobody like Grampa. Life without Grampa would just be unimaginable. And for a kid, Grampa will always be there. Until something happens – and Grampa, bless him, isn’t there. Now, that “something” looks to be happening in Quartzsite, Arizona. Read more in this quasi-obituary from Russ and Tiña De Maris.

    Reader asks: What to do with nosy busybodies in RV parks?

    Long-time RVer and RVtravel.com reader, and frequent commenter, Jeffrey Torsrud sent this to us, and we couldn’t help but chuckle. Ah, the pains of RVers. We do know those people, Jeffrey, and we know exactly what you’re talking about. Read Jeffrey’s complaint. Do you have any suggestions?


    DO YOU POST VIDEOS ABOUT RVing on YOUTUBE OR FACEBOOK? If so, embed them at the RV Videos group on Facebook. Spread your fame.


    Full-timer explains “Why I miss a home base”

    By Ingrid Hubbard
    LiveLaughRV.net
    The life of a nomad can appear glamorous. All you have to do is spend a little time on social media and the stunning images will have you longing to live a life of full-time travel. Yet those beautiful photographs don’t usually tell the whole story. I know I’m guilty of sharing predominantly the upside to RV living. Let’s face it, most people prefer to hear and see the positives of those living the nomadic life and ignore many of the realities. Continue reading.

    How one RVer figured out how to never do laundry again

    By Rick Cain
    Most RVers do laundry. But not me. I don’t have to deal with laundry at all. Let me tell you why. Boredom and me have never been a good combo. Once my brain starts to wander it comes up with all kinds of fun stuff. Including this brilliant strategy. Guys, if you want to get out of laundry duties, pay attention. [Gals, you don’t want to miss this either!]

    Another crazy RV paint job. Wow!

    Last week we posted a photo of an RV which we thought had the coolest paint job of any RV we’d ever seen. But this one might be just as neat… The pictures were sent in by readers Doug and Linda (from Ohio) with the comment, “Here is a motorhome and toad with a matching paint job that we spotted last September in a KOA campground in Wells, Maine. …” Check them out.


    Popular articles from last week

    KOA to open new park: RVs not welcome.
    Court rules in favor of owner of defective Newmar motorhome.
    Will your RV be banned from your neighborhood?
    The truth about Butt Wipes and RV holding tanks.
    Reader abandons plan to buy another RV.
    Is 11 a.m. too early a checkout time? (Poll with more than 100 comments)
    The award for the RV with the coolest paint job EVER goes to
    Fifth wheel burns to the ground in 20 minutes. Totally destroyed!
    RVelectricity: Can reversed polarity alone cause hot-skin voltage?
    Building an RV park: See the envisioned campground – plus more updates.
    RV Tire Safety: Heat, high speed and the “magic” in ST tires.
    Good Sam gets a finger in the RV storage pie – and you may have helped.


    We recently asked you: Do you have a favorite campground or RV park? We published the results here, creating a guide for you of your fellow RVers’ favorite spots. We update this weekly, so please continue to tell us your favorite campground or RV park by commenting on this post.

    New parks added this week in:
    Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.


    Resources

    Our Facebook and RVillage Groups: RV Horror StoriesRV AdviceRV ElectricityRV Parks with Storm SheltersRV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsNEW Budget RV TravelNEWER RV Videos plus Texas RV Camping and Florida RV camping.

    NEW: YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE FACEBOOK RV GROUPS
    Nevada RV CampingNew York RV CampingOregon RV CampingCalifornia RV CampingMaryland RV CampingGeorgia RV CampingArkansas RV Camping

    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.

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

    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

    Obnoxious “party animals” ruin state park stay

    Dear RV Shrink:
    We just spent a miserable night at Lost Dutchman State Park near Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a beautiful park, but obviously not well managed. It was a Saturday night. A party was raging in the site next to us. A family with young children and drunk adults screaming profanities at the top of their voices. You could hear them all over the park, but we were unfortunately right next door. … There is absolutely no way management could not have heard this band of obnoxious neighbors. Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s advice.


    Ask the RV Doctor

    RV levelers raising tires off the ground – occupants queasy!

    Dear Gary:
    Our motorhome has Power Gear brand levelers. The front two float side to side on the same hydraulic circuit while the rear two jacks are independent. The coach seems to ride high on certain grades with the front wheels often off the ground. When this happens the coach rocks enough to trigger motion sickness…. —Dean G. Read the rest of the question(s) and Gary’s response.


    RV Electricity

    Did the campground industry association save RV park owners millions of dollars by nixing electrical upgrade?

    I received dozens of emails about the ARVC announcement last week concerning the NEC rolling back the 2020 required GFCI protection on 30- and 50-amp pedestal outlets as was originally planned. According to the news report this was due to ARVC fighting off the NEC’s attempt to saddle campgrounds with millions of dollars spent in retrofitting all pedestals with GFCI breakers. So how and why did this happen, and is it a safety thing or just a way to save money? Read Mike’s interesting report.

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

    Combination voltage and 3-light tester. Mike recommends a new product that functions both as a 3-light tester and a plug-in digital voltage tester.

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


    RV Tire Safety

    Why inflate your tires to their max when parking for a long time?

    Roger had a question about what inflation to run when parking your RV or other vehicle for a long time, and explains interply shear on a parked RV. Learn all about it here.


    RV Short Stop

    Curious low-cost RV short stops in Yuma

    The Camel Farm is an unpretentious, highly enjoyable discovery tucked away in agricultural land south of Yuma, Arizona. … In addition to camels, there are more than 25 species to see (many you can pet), including zeedonks (zebra-donkey mix), donkeys, baby goats, water buffalo, an ostrich or two. … Also check out The Peanut Patch and the giant Yuma Swap Meet. Read more.


    Do you subscribe to our RV Daily Tips Newsletter?
    Every Monday through Friday you get a short, informational email from us delivered straight to your inbox. Inside each issue you’ll find: quick RV tips, popular articles, reader polls, RV thoughts, helpful resources, a website of the day, RV clubs and organizations, trivia, jokes and more! If you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe, but we doubt you’ll want to. Read the latest issue here and then sign up here.


    RV Fire Safety

    Prevent spontaneous combustion of charcoal or dirty rags

    Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Buy charcoal fresh, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container. Rags soiled with auto wax or cleaners that contain petroleum products or other oil-based cleaning materials can also spontaneously combust if disposed of in a combustible container. Put dirty cleaning rags in a metal container with a lid.


    Reader letters

    Dear editor,
    My husband and I have been RVing for 22 years. We went full-time two years ago. We are currently staying in a dumpy RV park because it’s February in Tucson and regular parks are full. Yes, it’s cheap, but residents appear to be poverty-stricken. There are mental health sufferers and homeless in and out all hours of the day or night. As a retired law enforcement officer I also suspect dealing. One resident was actually evicted but the process is lengthy and he’s still here. We will be able to move to a proper RV park at the end of the month. —Dennis G.

    Dear Dennis,
    Unfortunately, there are too many similar parks these days. It’s a problem for recreational vehicle enthusiasts – those who use their RVs for traveling, not living on the cheap year round. —Chuck

    Dear editor:
    This newsletter has lamented for years that just taking off and finding a campground is getting harder or in some cases impossible. It is sad that you can’t just wander the country and see what you find. These days you just have to make a reservation and plan your trip. But that brings another problem.

    What if you make a reservation and think everything is fine and then you get a call that says someone wants your site for three months and your deposit is being returned. This has happened to me and is happening to more people I talk to. My current neighbors are here now only because they thought they had a reservation for a month at another place. But they got a call that said someone wanted their site for three months, so “sorry.” The response from the campground was that the RVers were offered another site but turned it down. That’s a lie!

    I would bet these are not isolated incidents. Both mentioned here happened at corporate parks – Zelman and Encore, respectively. It might be a good topic for the newsletter and start some lively and informative discussions. —Dave Gobel

    We appreciate your letters. Send to editor@rvtravel.com


    Museum of the Week

    Historic Auto Attractions

    Roscoe, Illinois

    Other states might portray this as a car museum, but not Historic Auto Attractions. Inside this 36,000-square-foot museum, you’ll find everything from historic automobiles, Old West-style stagecoaches, and the world’s largest collection of presidential and world leaders’ limousines. You’ll also see famous cars from movies (such as the Batmobile, the car from “Back to the Future,” and more!), Elvis Presley’s personal car, and John Dillinger’s getaway car. Park yourself at the museum website and plan your visit. (*Note: They reopen for the season in May, so take the back roads there for now.)


    Trivia

    During the Civil War, the U.S. military helped bring dental care to Americans. Soldiers needed to bite the thick paper wrapping off bullets as well as eat the dry military rations. The military thus required they have six teeth so they could chew. Source: National Geographic

    Bumper sticker of the week

    “I’m lost but making good time.”

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

    Joke of the Week

    Ever wonder …
    • Why they sterilize the needle for a lethal injection?
    • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
    • Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
    • Why are they called apartments when they’re all stuck together?

    Worth Pondering

    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” —Walter Lippmann


    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. Thank you.


    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. Circulation 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.

    Are you interested in advertising with us? Email advertising@rvtravel.com

    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.

    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 2020 by RVtravel.com.

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    22 Comments
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    Bob Godfrey
    7 months ago

    Diane, When trying to open Mike Sokol’s article on GFCIs in campgrounds I get the article by Chuck on campground lighting annoyances. Could you check the link please? Thanks.

    Brenda & Danny Odom
    7 months ago

    Difference in the house at the lake/cabin in the woods vs. the RV is that the house will likely appreciate while the RV will certainly depreciate. Both are usually under-utilized, have all the taxes and upkeep. However, a lots of folks have, for years, rented out their cabins during non-use times. Now folks are starting to rent out their RV. Sounds smart, but I can’t see myself doing it for many reasons.

    Just curious — how many readers have considered renting their RV during non-use times to offset costs? Those who have, what are pros-cons?

    cee
    7 months ago

    I would never rent my RV. I don’t believe renters will take proper care of it. It might cost more in the long run when you fix the damage.

    Fred
    7 months ago

    Sheep don’t shrink when it rains because they aren’t spun at high speed in the spin cycle of the washing machine. The high speed spin compresses the wool fibers & over time the shrinkage doesn’t rebound.

    John T
    7 months ago

    You wrote, “22 percent of our readers rated the workmanship on their RVs as poor or terrible.” That is not true. 22% of those who responded to the survey said it, and those who respond are a tiny fraction of your readers. People are much more likely to respond to a survey if they had a bad experience than if they had a good one, so your results are completely skewed. That is why such surveys are called “unscientific”.

    cee
    7 months ago
    Reply to  John T

    Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed… and you seem to be confused.

    Impavid
    7 months ago

    Speaking of “Lying with Statistics,” did you know 78.54924% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

    cee
    7 months ago
    Reply to  RV Staff

    LOL Good one!!

    Debbie PJ
    7 months ago

    Ours is paid off, bought new 2010, paid off by 2012? We love it and honestly I hate motels, hotels.

    Steve S.
    8 months ago

    Re: Editorial
    I have a degree in math, a minor in computer science, and have been a technology project manager for over a decade (having previously been a software engineer and a data scientist), and I know full well that figures lie, and liars figure.
    ‘Hard’ facts are often ‘squishy’, and ‘soft’ facts are often more substantial.
    ‘Soft’ facts being those things that are individually important to each of us but are not necessarily quantifiable.
    These are things like your favorite TV show, or favorite type of vehicle, or preferred area of the country to live in, or type of residence, etc.
    These are personal preferences whose value is not necessarily monetary.
    I believe in the adage that ‘money buys convenience’ (as well as buying a lot of other personal preferences).
    While your math is accurate, you fall into your own “Lying with Statistics,” course.
    I understand that this is not your intent, and that what you are articulating, that $$ for $$, it may be more expensive to RV than other modes of travel and lodging.
    However, one must consider the fact that all people are willing to pay more for something that they like than for something that they don’t.
    That may be a generalization, but I will stand by it without any statistics to substantiate it.
    We RV one weekend a month, primarily to state campgrounds.
    Having our own travel trailer, with all of our personal stuff, parked next to our house and available whenever we want to go has value.
    Knowing that in case of emergency, we can pick up and leave at a moments notice and not have to worry about a place to stay has value.
    Knowing who slept in the bed before us, and the cleanliness of that bed, room, facilities, etc. (hotel room or rental RV) has value.
    Knowing that whenever we get physically tired, we can pull over for a few hours to comfortably rest, have a meal, etc. has value.
    Also, having our own RV makes it more likely to go camping than having to go thru the hassle of renting one, picking it up, prepping and loading it with our stuff, unloading it, then returning it.
    For us, our RV is always fully equipped and ready to roll.
    Everything non-perishable is cleaned, replenished, re-stocked and re-loaded after every single trip.
    All it needs is food for the trip and our clothes.
    And there is value beyond $$ in all of that.
    Most of all, being in the middle of the woods, lounging under the awning, coffee in one hand, book in the other, sitting next to each other with the dogs enjoying the outdoors at our feet . . . priceless.

    Sink Jaxon
    8 months ago

    RV Travel editors!! The links to RV Electricity and the Electric palm trees are mixed up! Please help us!!

    Thom Ritter
    8 months ago

    Yes sir Chuck, that depreciation is a bugger. We were able to pay off our mortgage last year, so now we are working hard on the RV loan. We want to pay it down to where we are not upside down. Some months we throw $2K at it , over and above the regular payments. We’re not rich by any standard, just a hard working blue collar couple. About to retire in August, so looking forward to spending a LOT more time in the coach, the “cost per use” average will go way down. Yay!
    You’re right about the sales folks, they play up the positives, minimize the financial end of it. Wife and I did talk about the months of making payments while not using it, but in the end it was worth it for us.
    We used to travel by motorcycle, but got weary of crappy motel rooms. A black widow spider in a bathroom sink in Barstow CA was one of the “last straws”.

    John
    8 months ago

    Good Morning! Great newsletter, as always. I believe the hyperlink for the RV Electricity article, by Mike Sokol, has been crossed up with the hyperlink for the article about the electric palm tree. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks!

    Montgomery Bonner
    8 months ago

    Chuck you hit the nail on the head with this 1st part of the article. We just spent 4 months in our new motorhome going west and coming back east to home. Our plus’s are:
    We got our own bed, sheets, pillows and food we like, so three positives. We can move at the whim of mother nature, which in fact pushed us west and this late winter/early spring pushed us home because of all the rain and flooding. Other factors bore or our trip, holidays, facilities availability, and our attitude.

    Negatives to us:
    1.As mentioned, young people are making a larger impact on facilities, many, many of them in HUGE RV’s and my guess have never had one before or driven vehicle that size. Kids running all over the parks, assume those kids are being home schooled, if so, I wonder what hours those kids are actually schooled. Thousand Trails is the largest membership campground organization, and brother, they sure have embraced those young RV’ers. 60-70% of all the rigs in the parks we stopped at were young folks with kids. I don’t know what work any of the folks are doing to meet expenses, must be something as all those rigs are mostly new.
    2. Animals – we don’t dislike dogs, or cats, we dislike bad owners, i.e., the ones who have the large dogs and it pulls the owner along the path of the walking area, the ones who don’t pickup after there pet, and I find it walking through the grass, the one whose little one barks and barks and barks at the rustling of the leaves and any other noise, and the owner does nothing to stop it.
    3. Motorcycle owners who think its perfectly fine to start up the thing at 6AM and rev it up to the moon and it makes more noise than a brass band.
    4. RV parks with very poor interior roads, un-level sites, and very poor power (I Check the pedestal each and every time we hook up-if long term I leave the surge protector looked to the pedestal for our stay). Rates, we stayed in three to four places where the bill was close to or over $50.00 a night, but they were worth it, clean, concrete sites, bathrooms you could eat dinner off the floor, good to excellent roads and site pads made of asphalt and concrete. Some other, were not so nice, and the rates reflected that. I’m sure there are places with are dumps, but for the most part, Good Sam affiliation/ratings has kept us at good parks.

    Conclusion: It’s not like it was in the 80’s, and from my perspective, the negatives far outweigh the positives of being out in the boonies enjoying mother nature. Yes, I want hookups, but GA state parks offer those, cheaply, and with paved roads/sites and spread out some so your neighbor is not on your doorstep.

    Like life, there are good folks and bad folks, seems to me more bad ones (discourteous) are gaining positions in the parks we have been in, this goes double for membership parks in locations near major metropolitan areas since more work is to be found.

    The RV Industry Lies, and we had 21 items which are needing correction on our NEW Motorhome. No mechanical issues with the chassis/engine/transmission, all defects are in the motorhome or subsystems therein. None of which precluded us from using it, those just make it hard to do certain things. According to the manufacturer, this coach spent 7-14 days in what they call the CQI building, to test and run all the systems to ensure no failures. One or two times operating a “thing” is not testing it, doing it 50 times might be the ticket. Many of the subcomponents come from China, and the workmanship is horrible, to just buy better quality made parts from USA manufacturer and made here components would improve the quality, yes it would raise the costs, but in the long term, less time at the dealer for warranty work would actually lessen the costs of the whole process.

    One day I will reach the age where this is not enjoyable any longer, sad to say, it might be long before I reach the age where I cannot do this any longer simply because the “out of my control” factors will make it unenjoyable, i.e., dogs, cats, kids, rude people, and parks which are no better than a slum.

    Golfnut92
    8 months ago

    Chuck – we agree with your financials! We bought a small RV 2 years ago and we have done a break even spreadsheet we track. For our circumstances, we need to spend between 70-80 nights a year to break even taking into account depreciation along with all related expenses. We boondock more often than staying in campgrounds. That aside there is the the benefits of freedom, “the experience “, flexibility and going on more trips than we normally would. In two years, we have spent over 170 nights on the road and 25,000 miles. We still have lots of plans and have no regrets.

    Mara Sievers
    8 months ago

    I hope I’m commenting on your editor’s corner piece. Thank you for writing this. It’s absolutely true. I’m living 85% full-time in my rig (no house, car or rent payment) and feel like I can justify the expense. I can’t believe people only spend 4 weeks out of a year in it and pay that much year round. Talk about an expensive vacation.
    I can’t believe your college actually named a course “Lying with Statistics”. I particularly like your last sentence: Who cares about facts? I work in the Pilates/fitness/rehabilitation industry, where nothing counts unless there is a study proving it. Yet, most studies get disproven within at least a decade. I often want to scream “Who cares about studies.” But I’m afraid to lose my credibility. Ay!