Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 950

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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! 

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Page Contents

May 30, 2020

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

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury


elcome to the 950th edition of this newsletter! Issue #1 was supposed to debut the second week of September 2001. And then the tragedy of 9-11 struck. Who cared about RVing?

And now, here we are with 950 issues under our belts. We’ve actually published far more than that, but we only count the Saturday editions.

We waited a couple of weeks before posting that first issue. Ever since, my schedule has revolved around preparing each Saturday edition. In the process my hair has gone from brown to gray, and my energy level decreased by 30% due to my advanced age. No complaints, though.

When I began back in 2001, I had no idea that nearly 20 years later I would still be at it. Amazing! And now, my daughter, Emily, who was 10 when I began, is 29 and running much of the show. She’s a brilliant young woman with a native ability in writing and publishing. We work almost as partners now; what a wonderful thing that is for a father, especially when he never dreamed it would happen.

Of course we now have a Sunday edition, too, plus five issues a week of our Daily Tips. In June, we will add a new newsletter aimed at beginning RVers, to be published 260 times a year (more about that in a week or two). We do all this with two full-time employees, three part-timers, and a bunch of freelancers. If there were a Super Bowl of RV Newsletters, we’d have championship rings aplenty.

The fact that we are still publishing today, in these difficult times, is because of the generosity of the more than 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Without their financial support, I don’t know if we could carry on. These readers seem to care more about us than those who read for free. We appreciate those who benefit from their free-ride, but I sometimes wonder why they don’t believe we’re worth the price of a single movie ticket for a year’s worth of education, entertainment and information? When our new newsletter debuts, we will be producing more than 620 issues a year, all about RVing.

OUR PLAN is to soon turn the free edition of this newsletter into an abbreviated version of our ad-free donor edition, saving our meatier articles for those who help pay our way, which is critical to us in these uncertain times. If you are not yet a “member” but would like to be, you may contribute here. There are many options. Your support, whatever you choose to pledge, would be hugely appreciated.

I’m only working part-time now, although my brain continues to work full-time. I can’t stop coming up with new ideas; they just pop into my head at all hours of the day. I hope to be free of day-to-day operations by issue 1,000. That’s just about a year away.

If I were a race horse I’d be around the final curve, headed to the finish line.

I cannot express how wonderful the last 19 years have been. And now, with more than 40 million Americans out of work, my staff and I are still plugging along and paying our bills, thankful we are not waiting in unemployment lines or worrying about feeding our families.

I would love to be around for another 20 years, but I’m not counting on it. But I vow that I won’t abandon this amazing online project until I know our mission of delivering quality, unbiased and helpful information is in place for the future. My daughter will see to that.

* * *
All that said, I hope you are safe, and making the best of our challenging times. Be wise. Be careful. Don’t take needless chances. Be kind to others because right now that goes a long way to comforting people who are nervous, scared or otherwise emotionally hurting over the dramatic upheaval in their lives.

And thank you for reading.


Why one reader called me a Peeping Tom and a pervert

Oh, my. I have been called a lot of things by some of the 2 percent of our readers who are rude, unhappy, disrespectful human beings (98 percent of you are very nice, “thank you”). But to be called a Peeping Tom and a pervert … well, that’s a first. It happened last Saturday. I felt I had to climb up on my soapbox to vent about this. GrrrrrrrrrrrrClick here.

If you use of the following email services, please read a warning from our tech guy Kim Christiansen. They are Yahoo.com, frontier.com, citlink.com and aol.com. All of these companies are owned by Verizon Media and Verizon moved them to Yahoo years ago. Read what Kim says.

BRAGGING AGAIN: We are “The Little Website That Could.” With our relatively tiny staff, we’ve now posted more than 8,000 articles on this website, and we have attracted a huge audience. Out of the approximately 1.5 billion websites in the world, RVtravel.com is among the top 24,000 in popularity, and the most-read RV media site. Thanks to all our fantastic readers (except for the angry 2 percent) who have helped us on our journey.

TRIP UPDATE: Here’s where Gail and I are now and what we’re doing. Hint: It’s not too exciting.

My Roadside Journal

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

Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

• RV sales are going crazy! What the heck is going on?
• Six months after Texas RV murder arrests – What now?
• Show up at this RV park wearing a mask and you’ll be considered a criminal!
• Maine RV park owners sue over health restrictions.
• RV park reservations see huge jump.
• Have you seen this travel trailer stolen in North Carolina?
• Canadian RV rentals skyrocket.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Stolen RVs • Reader survey • and much more …

Last week’s Tip of the Day in RV Daily Tips Newsletters

“Been there” decal U.S. maps – A view of RVer philosophy.
Sticky 5th wheel hitch, Cowboy? Slick ’em up!
RV Education 101: Do this when replacing an LP gas cylinder.
Why monitoring your tires is super important.
Navigating parking lots with a big RV.

Fight the urge to buy an RV, says lemon law attorney

VIDEO: RV lemon law attorney Steve Lehto has advice for buyers of new recreational vehicles. Unless they are fully aware of what awaits them as an RV owner, he advises to “Fight the urge” to buy one. Read more and watch the video.

Want to RV around Canada, eh? Our readers suggest their favorite routes

By Emily Woodbury
In a poll on May 12th, we asked if you’ve ever been RVing in Canada. More than 2,200 of you responded, and 74 of you left comments. … Canada, (usually) so easily accessible by RV, should be on every RVers’ travel list. Read some of our readers’ comments (more like “rave reviews”) about RVing in Canada here.

Are you anything like 19,000 RVers recently surveyed?

RV manufacturer Thor recently completed its 2020 North American RV Consumer Survey with an aim to see just how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact RVers’ decisions about buying and traveling. Here’s a rundown on responses.

Brand-new RV is barely off the lot when it starts falling apart

The post below is from our Facebook group RV Horror Stories. We post it here to remind you to always have a professional technician inspect an RV, new or used, before you purchase it. If this buyer had done that, there’s a good chance the original damage would have been noticed and brought to the buyer’s attention. Continue reading.

DID YOU MISS OUR STORY LAST SUNDAY about the man who made a pickup truck from rocks? We kid you not! Read all about it, and see a photo.

Wow! One big (ugly) truck camper!

Well, maybe it’s not ugly to its owner, or maybe even you. But, we’d have to say, generally speaking, this will not make the cover of “Beautiful Truck Camper Magazine.” It would probably not be a good idea to drive this low rider on uneven dirt roads. Source of photo: We don’t have a clue.

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

The future of RVing is not necessarily pretty
Another RV Horror Story, again about Camping World
RV renovation tips to get you started
Get money back on your Camping World extended warranty
KOA manager arrested after pulling gun on picnicking couple

Brain Teaser

Three playing cards in a row. Can you name them with these clues? There is a two to the right of a king. A diamond will be found to the left of a spade. An ace is to the left of a heart. A heart is to the left of a spade. Now, identify all three cards.

(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)

Reader Poll

Where do you prefer to camp, in a scenic, primitive public campground or a nondescript but clean RV park with full hookups?

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.

The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletter:
How do you feel about flying in a commercial airliner right now? Tell us here and learn how more than 2,000 of our readers responded.

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.

How will the U.S. resuming business affect the spread of the coronavirus?
Do you like to play golf?
Do you own a record player?

What works when your housey is lousy with mousies?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris (Can you tell by the title?)
It all started with a letter from Don Callahan, a long-time RVtravel.com reader, lamenting the fact that mice had eaten away at the Irish Spring soap bars he had placed in his motorhome to deter them when he stored it last fall. So, Russ and Tiña relate what works and what doesn’t work, for them and for other RVers, to stop critters from invading the RV. We’re sure you’ll have your own tips to share. Read more and give us your thoughts here.

Nail-biting video sees boy being followed by giant bear

An Italian family’s day trip takes a turn when a large (er, gigantic) brown bear begins following 12-year-old Alessandro on their hike. Loris Calliairi, the boy’s stepfather, is heard calmly guiding the boy to safety. The young boy was collecting pinecones in the bushes, where it is believed the bear was sleeping. Watch the video.

Yikes! They love RVs so much they got RV tattoos!

Do you have a tattoo? Even better question, do you have an RVing-themed tattoo? If you do, you’re probably like these people below who love RVing so much they had to tell, er, show, the whole world. See their tattoos, some pretty amazing! What do you think?

RV buyers: Never, ever fall for this sales gimmick!

Camping World is advertising free delivery of a new RV. No need to even visit the dealership. How easy is that? But, wait, what’s wrong with this picture? Find out.

Urgent recall: 1.7 million Harbor Freight jack stands

We published this information in last Sunday’s newsletter, but if you didn’t see it, here’s a detailed report regarding jack stands currently being recalled by Harbor Freight Tools. Read more.

Popular articles from last week

Don’t make these mistakes with venomous snakes.
If you can’t answer these questions, you shouldn’t be towing.
Building an RV park: WE WERE APPROVED!
Will campgrounds be even more crowded in the months ahead?
Would the “experts” who read RVtravel.com please go away.
RVelectricity: More on how SoftStartRV works.
RV Coronavirus News Update, May 24, 2020.
RV Shrink: “Bean counter” wonders how much the RV lifestyle costs.
Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
Video: The Rolls-Royce of the future is INSANE.
Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, May 23, 2020.


Our Facebook Groups: RV Horror StoriesRV AdviceRV ElectricityRV Parks with Storm SheltersRV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsBudget RV TravelRV VideosRV Coronavirus News • plus Texas RV Camping and Florida 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.

Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.

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

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.

Ask the RV Shrink

RV buying – Decisions, decisions

Dear RV Shrink:
We are future RV owners, I think. We have become professional lookers, but so far not buyers. It is very confusing. I am sure for people who have done a lot of RV travel the mysteries are few, but we have never done anything but read about it. Two of our biggest decisions seem to be tow or haul, and slide or no slide. Let me explain. …

Read the rest of the question and the RV Shrink’s advice.

RV Education 101

Buying an RV? Don’t buy a “yard ornament” instead

With Mark Polk
If you buy an RV and don’t have any money left in your budget to use and enjoy the RV, it is nothing more than a large yard ornament sitting next to your house. Here are some things to take into consideration before buying an RV.

RV Electricity

First-Timer’s primer on Hot-Skin Voltage

Dear Readers,
It appears that there are many first-time RVers here now, and while it is my 10th year of writing articles for the RV industry, this may be one of the first times you’re reading my RVelectricity columns. So, Welcome, and I promise you this will be (mostly) painless.

I’m going to start this First-Timer series with one of the most important things you can learn about … Hot-Skin Voltage. Continue reading.

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

CarGenerator update / TT-30 outlet. Here’s Mike’s update on an impressive non-generator technology for supplementing solar panels while boondocking. And read the informative comments from Jonathan Schloo, the company’s owner, in response to readers’ questions.

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

If you haven’t signed up for Mike’s monthly RVelectricity newsletter, ya better do so quick. Issue #31 arrives tomorrow. Click here to subscribe.

RV Tire Safety

Lug nut torque – Part 2: Are your lug nuts tight enough?

with RV tire expert Roger Marble
This is Part 2 of how to ensure your lug nuts are tight enough, but not too tight. The first part covered the science and engineering behind the basics, as I am expecting that there will be a number of people who will say something along the lines of, “Roger, you are all wet. I’ve done it THIS way for years and never had a problem.” You are certainly welcome to ignore my advice and continue with the methods you have used for years. Read more.

TIRE QUESTION: Can black tire “covers” be used without causing damage? Find out.

RV Short Stop

Check out world-famous ice cream in Stanley, ND

As states gradually “reopen” businesses and public campgrounds, now might be a good time to start planning a family outing to smaller communities along the less-traveled blue line highways. Keeping social-distancing in mind, consider off-the-beaten-path attractions as places to relax, learn something new, and avoid the big crowds. Here are some great ideas, including the Dakota Drug Co., the only place in the USA to still serve up world-famous Whirl-A-Whip ice cream. Read more.

RV Fire Safety

Understand your firefighting equipment before you need it

To be most effective at fighting a fire, you must know the purposes and limitations of your equipment, as well as how to properly maintain and use it. Don’t wait until a fire breaks out to try to figure out what to do. Take your extinguisher out now and have a look at it to make sure you’re prepared to use it if the time ever comes. The time you save could mean the difference between minor damage and major disaster.

Museum of the Week

Photo by @rmcoker, Instagram

Star Trek Original Series Set Tour

Ticonderoga, New York

Trekkies, get ready for a whole new obsession – this museum! When the Star Trek series was cancelled in 1969, most of the original sets were destroyed. However, superfan James Cawley rebuilt the sets just as they would have been when the series was filmed. The 14-year journey is open to Star Trek fans from around the world, and offers the most accurate rebuilds of the original sets. The sets were recreated using original blueprints, hundreds of hours of research and thousands of photographs. Plan a visit for yourself here.

Readers’ Pet(s) of the Day

“This is a shot of our ‘Golden Girls’ in their Christmas picture. There is never a dull moment with these girls, and they make our life complete. They are (left to right) Rosie (6), Sophie (8) and Lily (8). Sophie and Lily are sisters.” — Don

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Rory Tuesday: Emma Wednesday: Frank & Mutton • Thursday: Cooper • Friday: Hoover

Poll: Do you have a pet insurance policy?

As RVers, there’s a higher chance that Fido or Fifi might get hurt, eat something they shouldn’t, or explore somewhere dangerous than if they were sitting inside a traditional home all the time. Please take our poll and leave a comment if you recommend the company your pet insurance is through.


Volvo gave away the 1962 patent for its revolutionary three-point seat belt for free, in order to save lives.

Bumper sticker of the week

I know my sleep number – It’s 6 glasses of wine.

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

Joke of the Week

How are we all doing with healthy eating while at home? 😉

Thanks, Tom H.

Worth Pondering

“Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.” —D. H. Lawrence

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.

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: Emily Woodbury, Russ and Tiña De Maris. Contributing writers: Mike Sokol, Richard Mallery, Roger Marble, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Bob Difley, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Social media 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 our affiliate program? Learn more.

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.

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.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by RVtravel.com.


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Dennis Allen Jones
2 years ago

This was my answer to your crystal ball message 4/25/2020 when you said we would never be the same again. Stock market back! 80% small business back open!

Chuck calm down! You gotta quit listening to mainstream media. Political activists have you running around with your hair on fire. Throw that crystal ball in dumpster. Our young & healthy people will be back to work & economy will roar back to life within three months for sure

Ed D.
2 years ago

Brain Teaser Answer?

Ace of Diamonds – King of Hearts – 2 of Spades (From left to right order)

2 years ago

Love see the daily pets, I like That you added links to each day of the week here on Saturday. Otherwise I would have missed our adorable, Frank and Mutton. My favorite, other than mine this is Cooper the cat ❤️.

2 years ago

My wife and I take our morning coffee sitting in the front seats of our motorhome we enjoy seeing what and who might be up and moving about we fully expect to be looked in on and enjoy sharing a smile and wave with walker’s by. I believe we are also in 98% club, no worries Chuck your good.

Bob Amoroso
2 years ago

I find it very difficult to walk around a campground and NOT notice the other campers/RVers. And likewise for the others as they walk around. Lots of them walking their pets always are pleasant and always say hello or other greeting. Who hasn’t stopped at some point and said “Hey that’s a nice ???” and struck up conversation over something. I hardly ever run into haters or rude people. In fact, I would think it strange if someone didn’t at least glance my way or just wave. Don’t let the 2% get you down…..think of 98% that are with YOU.

Don Gagnon
2 years ago

Thanks for including the image of my Golden Girls. They certainly bring joy and happiness to us when on the road (and back home in Indiana as well).

Larry F
2 years ago

Question about the scam links in emails coming from aol.com: My email address is verizon.net, which somehow in the magic of the Internet translates to aol.com. I occasionally get redirected to what looks like a scam to download some plug in to my browser. I refuse to do that but cannot get to the newsletter unless I go to RVtravel.com and access it from there. Do I have to worry about changing my password?

Kim Christiansen
2 years ago
Reply to  Larry F

Hi Larry, you’re right! How could I forget the parent company of Yahoo and AOL? Please do change your password and read the article that also has important information about password managers.

2 years ago

Chuck, we have been RVing for a couple of years now and have enjoyed your articles but more importantly, we have learned a lot from your newsletter. We became subscribers because we saw the value, hardwork and dedication you provide to the RV community. Enjoy your next journey and thank you for all your help over your career.

Tim Bear
2 years ago

Reminds me of a joke: A woman called the police to come arrest her neighbor for nudity. They showed up and she took them into her bathroom. Pointing to her neighbor’s bathroom window, she said, “There. See?!” The officers looked over & saw a man shaving; he appeared to be shirtless at the sink. “ma’am, he only has his shirt off – he’s not naked.” Clambering up onto the toilet, she said, “You have to climb up on HERE to see him!”

Bill Edgar
2 years ago

What type of green snake was pictured in your venomous snakes article lag week by Johnathan Davis

Arlene H.
2 years ago

Thanks for cleaning up the page redirect vs opens in a new tab! Much easier to navigate now. Although many times going back took me to the top of the newsletter instead of the article I clicked.

Gary Broughton
2 years ago

Enjoyed your newsletters since before RVTravel.
We leave our shades up until bed, mostly, so have a look. When we walk we look at everything that’s look able. You may see something you want to do to your own rig, or meet the people.
Have a enjoyable ride home and stay safe.

2 years ago

It is understandable that you are upset with Mr. Olen’s comments, and I use the “Mr.” with some reservation. It is an abbreviation that implies the person is an adult; male children are not typically addressed as mister.
While he is entitled to his opinion, he demonstrates the lack of civility that is becoming an increasing plague in society today. Should we walk around campgrounds with our eyes glued to the ground? If we were to do that, I for one would never meet or greet other campers because I wouldn’t see them.
Apparently, Mr. Olen views himself as perfect and you as faulty. I doubt either is true. To Mr. Olen I would quote Biblical words: “Let him who is without sin……” You, on the other hand are doing nothing wrong and have always demonstrated civility. It is quite obvious which of the two of you is the adult.

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

If I was a racehorse, Rodney Dangerfield would be complaining about his strange tasting steak. As I have been RV’ing a couple of years, your beginners newsletter seems right for me.

2 years ago

Chuck, My day starts with a fresh cup of hot coffee and RVtravel newsletter. As a voluntary subscriber, I think it is worth supporting with both cash and recommending to other RVer’s. More good ideas and projects are inspired by this newsletter.
Please keep up the good work.