Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 955


    Happy Birthday, USA ~ You’re 244 years old today!

    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!), plus the generous financial support of SoftStartRV, an inexpensive device every RV with an air conditioner should have.

    If you shop at Amazon, please visit through our affiliate site or (we get a little commission that way – and you don’t pay any extra). Thank you!

    July 4, 2020

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

    Editor’s corner

    With Chuck Woodbury


    dreamed last night that I was buying a small, weekly newspaper. I think I know the newspaper, in a tiny mountain town in the Sierra Nevada. It was standard size as opposed to tabloid, and only four pages — front page, back page and two inside. So one big sheet, folded, all black and white.

    The newspaper had its own printing press. It was a big offset press, the kind used by metropolitan dailies. It was taller than a one-story building, which is typical for papers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other major publications. I published my newspaper Out West on such a press. I loved watching the press run, and the papers roll off, ready to mail off to readers and newsstands.

    This printing press is typical of one used to print a medium-sized newspaper.

    The press was way overkill for the small town newspaper in my dream, but then dreams are seldom based on reality. I was incredibly happy about having a newspaper with its very own printing press. I looked forward to turning it into something special.

    As it was, the content was boring. The editors and writers, I thought, were not too bright, and certainly not inspired. As I studied the current issue, I thought of the many ways I could make it better — exceptional, even.

    In my dream, I knew that the days of successful newspapers were mostly over. I figured I would design it to look sort of old-fashioned, and write stories about history as well as current affairs. I thought that if I did a really great job, it would be so unique and interesting that people from near and far would subscribe.

    I’M PRETTY SURE THE DREAM had something to do with my frustration about publishing online, and the limitations of design. Take for example: more than two-thirds of those who read it do so on a phone. How creative can a publisher be when people are scrolling down with a finger, with words and photos appearing like movie credits? When I published in the print world, I liked to mix things up with photos, charts and other illustrations presented in more interesting ways. It’s hard to do that online when you know every word and photo is being viewed in the palm of someone’s hand.

    But it was a good dream, and while it lasted I was about as happy as a person could be. There was no pandemic in my dream, which was a wonderful break from reality. Then I woke up, and I remembered the dream, and I was sad that I hadn’t really bought a newspaper with its very own printing press.


    P.S. Welcome to the more than 1,100 new subscribers since last issue. There is an incredible demand for information about RVing these days, as so many people buy RVs to travel with rather than head off to Europe or take cruises. A lot of these folks are finding us, and we’re thrilled to have them!

    ALSO: I was interviewed twice last week, by my friend James Raia on the podcast for his website The Weekly Driver, and by CNBC. Both were about the state of RVing these days. Here’s where to listen to a recording of James’ podcast.

    FINALLY: Please wear a mask when in public. Help slow the spread of the dangerous virus that has robbed so many of us of our freedom, even our lives, and so badly hurt our economy.

    WARNING: If you (or someone you’re with) are lighting off fireworks today, do not apply hand sanitizer first! If you do need to use hand sanitizer, give it at least a couple of minutes to dry before lighting anything! This is something to note if you’re BBQing or having a campfire as well…

    Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

    The latest breaking news about RVing and RV travel that affects RVers.
    • Big Bend National Park, Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River closed until further notice.
    • Have you seen this stolen Coleman travel trailer?
    • More canceled RV shows and rallies due to coronavirus.
    PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Upcoming RV shows • Latest RV recalls • Free and bargain camping locations • Reader survey • and much more …

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

    Go slow at the dealership – Don’t let money burn a hole in your pocket.
    Five basic tips for safe RV trips.
    RV Education 101: Trailer hitching and unhitching safety tip.
    Manage your temperatures for a long and happy RV life.
    Urban RV driving tips.

    Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

    Full-time RVing: Learning how to “just roll with it”

    By Terri Nighswonger
    My RV journey began nearly a year and a half ago when my husband, Todd, and I were discussing some “next steps” in our weird life. To be honest, it didn’t look like we would ever retire. You know, the payout at the end of a long and storied career. The reality looked like we would be working until we keeled over. Continue reading.

    Slide-outs for your galley make storage a snap

    Here are some useful tips to obtain extra and easily accessible storage in your RV galley. The sliding trays don’t even require drawer glides. Includes lots of pictures.

    What you need to know before buying a motorhome – Part One

    This is Part One of a three-part video series where Andy Pargh, The Gadget Guru, speaks with Steve Zeigler, the Director of Bus Shell Sales of Prevost, and Gil Johnson, a well-known motorhome inspector. While the content in this video is slanted towards Prevost motorhomes, the information will be useful to anyone shopping for a variety of motorhome brands. Watch the video here.

    Chuck Woodbury talks about state of RVing on The Weekly Driver podcast

    Chuck Woodbury, editor and publisher of, was a recent guest on The Weekly Driver Podcast. Now in its third year, the automotive podcast is co-hosted by James Raia and Bruce Aldrich. During the 30-minute podcast, Raia and Aldrich discuss with Woodbury how the coronavirus has affected the RV industry. Read more and listen here.

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

    Don’t stop at “making” memories in an RV
    What to do about ice on RV fridge fins
    Living full-time in a roomy motorcycle pop-up trailer
    The Business of Work Camping – Where to put the groceries in an RV? Part 1
    Husband runs out of gas in RV looking for cheapest price

    Brain Teaser

    What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away the last four of its five letters?

    (Shhh. Don’t give it away. Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday News newsletter.)

    Reader Poll

    Do you insure your RV on a separate policy from your other vehicles?

    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:
    On average, how many days a week do you have eggs for breakfast? Funny question to be our most popular poll last week, but hey, RVers like eggs! See how nearly 2,200 readers responded.

    What’s better for you: Class C motorhome or Class B van conversion?

    Here’s a question that some new-to-RVing wonder about: “I’ve never had an RV before, and I’ll be traveling alone with my dog. I’m intimidated by big vehicles, and I want fuel efficiency but comfort, too. What do you think about a Class B motorhome?” Here are a few things to think about.

    It’s checkout time, your RV has a problem, won’t move. What to do?

    By Chuck Woodbury
    I have wondered what would happen if it were time to check out of my site in a packed RV park, but my motorhome had a mechanical problem and it couldn’t move. What if it were a park where every RV space was reserved for every night: somebody was due in your spot later that day? What would you do? Here is a letter I received today that got me thinking about this. Read more then let us know here.

    Need the perfect place to store your RV? No problem. It costs $269,000

    Keeping your motorhome clean, protected from the elements and secure may be standard practice for many owners. But would you pay $269,000 to do so? Increasingly popular around the country, specialty purpose storage units have gone upscale with developers and management companies outdoing each other to attract customers. Continue reading.

    Readers tell why they bought their first RV – Part 2

    Here’s another installment of your responses to our request for readers to tell us why they bought their first RV. This week some reasons are: yearn to travel, serendipity, seeking history up-close, and health and helpful intervention. Great stories.

    This RV wouldn’t budge in a tornado!

    Reader and contributor Nanci Dixon sent us this photo of an incredible converted Jeep military vehicle she saw at a campground. Now that’s a weird (but totally cool) RV! Check it out.

    Popular articles from last week

    What is it? Click here to find out.

    Grand Design recalls more than 22,000 Reflection trailers.
    RV Tire Safety: More important info on trailer vs. truck tires.
    Motorhome burns up. See the horrible results.
    Internet anywhere – Satellites in the sky … or pie in the sky?
    Urban RV driving tips.
    SoftStartRV installation tips and first impressions.
    Can your air conditioner beat the heat?
    RV Education 101: RV black water holding tank tips.
    One reader’s very unusual pet. No one else has one!
    RVs without slideout toppers: Do they leak?
    Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, June 27, 2020.
    This pickup truck drives upside-down – no joke!
    Use your RV air conditioner in low-power situations.
    RV Shrink: Buying a rental RV – Good idea?


    This could be your lucky day! If you win, pick one of these hot-off-the press directories of free campgrounds, West edition or Heartland edition, as your prize. In one of this past week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters we published a secret phrase. Simply email the phrase to us at . We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 4, 2020) by 11 a.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.

    LAST WEEK’S WINNER of the George Foreman 2-Serving Grill: Wayne Caldwell of Belen, New Mexico. The previous week’s winner of the Coleman portable butane stove was Rosalie Magistro of Bayfield, Colorado.


    The 1976 CitiCar was produced from 1974 to 1976 but sold better than any electric car in history, around 2,600 units. The oil crisis of 1973 made an electric car that cost about a penny a mile to operate look attractive. It had a range of up to 50 miles and could hit a top speed of 28 mph.

    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

    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

    Would you advise a rental RV road trip?

    Dear RV Shrink:
    We are considering renting a motorhome and doing a western National Park loop with our teenagers. We usually fly somewhere and rent a car, but flying sounds unappealing to us with the virus and the reduced flights. Renting a motorhome sounds like a great adventure, but what are some of the downsides we are not aware of? Any info would be appreciated. —Novice in Novi

    Read the RV Shrink’s advice

    RV Education 101

    Keep holding tank odors out of the RV

    RV holding tanks are designed with a vent pipe going from the top of the holding tank to the roof of the RV, to vent the tank and the tank odors. The problem is, holding tank odors accumulate in the tank and can’t really be vented outside because there is no air pressure in the tank to force the gases up and out of the vent pipe. Read more.

    RV Electricity

    SoftStartRV update – Yes, it really works, and here’s proof…

    By Mike Sokol

    Dear Readers,
    Since I published my initial peak starting current data last month comparing SoftStartRV technology to stock starting capacitors, I’ve had hundreds of questions about how well it works. So let’s get them out of the way first. Yes, I did gather this data myself. Yes, SoftStartRV seems to work exactly as advertised. No, a $10 hard-start capacitor is not the same thing at all. … [So, to test how this product works, Mike built a piece of test gear for $200 which would normally cost $100,000, to capture thousands of pieces of data in a fraction of a second. WOW!] Learn more.

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

    Electric Shock Drowning Warning. Three people recently drowned in a backyard above-ground swimming pool. This prompted Mike to write again about the potential for electric shock drownings and how to avoid them.

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

    RV Tire Safety

    What valve stem to use with a TPMS – Part 1

    Here’s Roger Marble’s opinion on the ongoing discussion regarding what valve stem to use with an external tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor. Included are (very short) video examples, and a 5-minute video of how easy it is to install steel valve stems. Learn more.

    Building an RV Park

    We met with the Board of Supervisors – Good news!

    By Machelle James
    (June 23) Here we are in Holbrook, waiting to speak at our Final Approval hearing with the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. We are last on the agenda and my nerves are building and I feel queasy. My mind tells me we are going to be approved, but my heart worries. The “what ifs” are overwhelming and the unknown is pure torture. Continue reading for what’s next for AJ’s RV Getaway Park.

    The RV Kitchen

    Sunday Dinner Chicken

    It’s easy to throw this casserole together using rice from a packet and cooked chicken bites from the supermarket. It can also be made with canned chicken or diced meat cut from a rotisserie bird. Includes a vegetarian variation. Make it your own recipe by adding a special topping. The recipe is easily doubled and it can be made ahead. Get the recipe.

    The Digital RVer

    How to use Google’s new Photo Map

    If you use Google Photos on an Android or iOS device, you now have a cool new feature, a photo map. Just open Google Photos, tap the Search/magnifying glass icon at the bottom and you’ll see “Explore Map.” If you have any photos where Google can identify the photo’s location, it will be placed on the map. Read how Chris Guld uses this feature here. You’ll probably start using it, too.

    Facebook Groups of Interest

    Crap wildlife photography (hilarious!)
    RV’s, Campers, Trailers for Sale in Florida
    Jobs in the RV industry

    PLUS OUR OWN GROUPS: NEW RV Parks where you can fish without a license NEW RVing Fulltime NEW RVing with Dogs NEW Towing Behind a Motorhome NEW RVing with a Disability NEW RV Travel TipsNEW Trucks for RV TowingRV Horror StoriesRV AdviceRV ElectricityRV Parks with Storm SheltersRV Buying AdviceNorthwest RV CampingSouthwest RV CampingFree CampgroundsBudget RV TravelRV VideosRV Coronavirus News

    Readers’ Pet of the Day

    “This is “Cam”, our 3-year-old kitty. She loves to go “RVing” with us and her favorite spot is riding on the dash of our 2016 Winnebago Adventurer. So, she is a true “Dash-Cam”!” — Art & Sheila Mullis, Brandon, FL

    Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
    • Monday: Mimi Tuesday: Lucy Wednesday: Blanton • Thursday: King Garfield
    • Friday: Emmie

    Let’s talk about poop!

    Let’s be honest here, poop isn’t generally a topic we hear discussed around the campfire unless maybe you need advice on your backed-up black tank. But, if you have a pet, you pick it up multiple times a day. Well, you’re supposed to pick it up multiple times a day. Click here to read interesting (and gross) facts about dog poop!


    In 1919, 781,178 people visited America’s National Parks. One hundred years later, in 2019, 327,516,619 people visited.

    Bumper sticker of the week

    Exercise is such a dirty word that I have to wash my mouth out with chocolate.

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

    Joke of the Week

    Masks are the new bra: They’re uncomfortable, you only wear them in public, and when you don’t wear one … everyone notices! —Thanks to Tom Hart!

    Worth Pondering

    “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” —Marcus Aurelius

    Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

    Read it here | Back issues

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

    RV Travel staff


    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, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Bob Difley, Terri Nighswonger, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Social media director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

    FOREVER IN OUR MEMORIES — OUR STAFF MEMBER IN HEAVEN, Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, lost to COVID-19 in April, 2020.

    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.

    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 or this newsletter. 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 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

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    D. Evartt
    2 months ago

    I saw the what is it and I knew right off the bat what it was. My grandmother had one when I was a little boy.Man I feel old now.Lol

    2 months ago

    Chuck. The colored cartoon just added some of the creative juices you are missing. We loved it. It added so much more than a photo, even from my crusty 73 years old hands holding my phone.
    I might even fire up that ancient technology, my laptop and enjoy it even more. Happy Holiday! Stay safe.

    2 months ago

    Happy Birthday America!

    I read the newsletter on my phone when I’m waiting for an appointment and want to entertain myself. My preference is to read it on my desktop or laptop which is the case 90% of the time.

    Chuck, The problem with excellent dreams… you wake up

    Last edited 2 months ago by cee
    2 months ago

    Happy 4th! Don’t let the rowdies who hate America ruin it for you. Stand up for this wonderful country of (relative) freedom in a world that doesn’t always value it, and let’s remember those who don’t have it or are fighting for it. Which then brings to mind our service men and women. Send out a special prayer for them today.

    2 months ago

    I like what Marcus recommended for waking up every morning. Thanks many times over, Chuck and staff, for a friendly and informative RV “broadsheet.”

    RV Staff (@rvstaff)
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Bill

    Thank you for your kind words, Bill. We appreciate them, and we appreciate you! Happy Fourth, and stay healthy. 😀 —Diane at

    Captn John
    2 months ago

    Happy 4th! Yes, the presses. I was a type setter / photographer back in the late 1960s for a small town daily. I typed lead letters and numbers that went to make lead plates for the presses. I was also the after hours photographer ~ if something happened in the middle of the night I got the call, took pictures and acted as reporter too. That paper is still in business but content emailed and printed hundreds of miles away. No more typesetters, no more lead.
    I’ll read the daily on my iPhone but no way to enjoy the weekend editions on less than a 17″ screen.

    Ralph Woznick
    2 months ago

    Chuck, Happy 4th! Just wanted to let you know that I read rvtravel every morning over coffee using my laptop. I use my iphone a lot, but I use my laptop for rvtravel and the daily newspaper.

    Ron L
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Ralph Woznick


    Robert Cameron
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Ralph Woznick

    Ralph and Chuck
    I do the same thing, paper and RV Travel.

    2 months ago

    Hey Chuck, we read on the phone because we’re in the coach!

    Terry Brown
    2 months ago

    Chuck, if it wasn’t for a compact powerful personal communicator your coverage would be a lot lot less. The cell phone has done much to expand communication and access to knowledge and entertainment. Use it to its maximum to spread your “newspaper” to as many who want to read it. Keep going and thanks for a great read every day.

    2 months ago

    Chuck, don’t be so hard on the ones that read rvtravel on their iPhone. It’s my ritual every morning while I have my coffee! Since I’m getting lazy in my old age it’s really easy.
    Thanks for what you do, it helps me make my day.