Thursday, December 2, 2021


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 972

Welcome to, the newsletter for intelligent, open-minded RVers. If you comment on an article, do it with respect for others. If not, you will be denied posting privileges. Please tell your friends about us!

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 20th year of continuous publication, is made possible in large part by the voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

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

October 31, 2020

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

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury

This past week has been very stressful. Never mind the stress over the election, which for me, and maybe you, is big right now. And there’s the pandemic, too!

No, what has me stressed now is due to what has happened since last Saturday’s issue, when we received more than 400 emails in reaction to my follow-up report about the flood of nasty emails we’d received about Nanci Dixon’s essay about her RV life in an interracial marriage. And many other readers left comments on the website as well.

We got the usual angry messages including “I’ll never visit your website again!”

But, surprisingly, what was the most stress-provoking was not the hate mail, but the “love” mail — the hundreds of letters and comments of support and appreciation from the nicest people you could ever imagine. They thanked my staff and me, and Nanci, for daring to write honestly. Some of these people did not necessarily agree with what she wrote, but they showed respect in explaining why.

Many readers told us about their own experiences with hate or discrimination, or those of a friend. But mostly they just thanked my staff and me for writing from our hearts, not simply playing it safe like most other RV websites.

So why was that so stressful? Read on…

Let me just say…
Since that issue last Saturday, we have published 11 other newsletters, all about RVing (five issues each of RV Daily Tips and of Beginner’s Guide to RVing plus our Sunday RV Travel Newsletter). As we do every week, we provide a huge amount of helpful information. It amazes me, then, when someone turns against us for a single article that challenged their beliefs. What kind of person does that?

My partner, Gail, opens the incoming emails. It’s an ongoing, never-ending job and requires daily attention (she is supposed to be retired!). She was touched by the avalanche of kindness shown the past week. She interrupted me often to read some of the emails. She knows that the hate mail gets to me. I have dealt with it for years, but when it comes in bam, bam, bam, it can wear you down.

And so the letters of appreciation were wonderful. But the huge amount of it, plus those that arrived as comments on the website, was an assault on my emotions. It forced me to pause, and remember all over again that most people are good and kind and caring. I get so caught up with the anger of others that I forget! Reading one wonderful email after another, or listening to Gail read them to me, almost made me cry — tears of joy. I don’t know that I have ever experienced so much support in such a short time.

Even now, we still have at least 100 of those emails to answer. How can we not respond to someone who went out of his or her way to tell us how much they care about what we are doing? Last night, Thursday, I watched Gail in the family room answering emails on her laptop. This morning, Friday, she is at it again. And yet she never catches up. I help, but I don’t catch up, either. Many of you have written to me, and never heard back. Some probably think I’m rude or uncaring. No, No! I just can’t find the time! That is stressful to me!

This website has grown far bigger than I ever dreamed. In the early days, we could fit every reader into a high school gym. Today, it would take a couple of Rose Bowls. So now, when we write something that strikes a chord, we are deluged with email. My staff and I know we should write back — and we want to — and not just with an automated response. Personally, I want to answer every email I receive. But I can’t! It’s frustrating!

Okay, I am finished. I don’t think I did a very good job of expressing myself. But it’s late Friday and I am out of time. And, no, despite everything I have written here, I am not complaining. Keeping up with growth of this little enterprise is incredibly challenging, but I am hopelessly in love with the process and enjoy nearly every minute of the work, stress and all. The turtle goes nowhere unless it sticks its neck out, which of course makes it vulnerable. That’s me, and my staff, too.


ALSO: While we do not have a reader forum associated with this website, we do moderate the RV Advice Group at Facebook. If you are on Facebook, this is a great resource to ask questions or help others. Our editors are moderators.

REMEMBER to turn your clocks back one hour tonight, and be sure to check your smoke and CO alarms while you’re thinking about it.

FINALLY, if your internet service provider is either or and you haven’t been receiving our email alerts that you signed up for, we apologize. Please read this explanation from Kim Christiansen, our IT Wrangler, who has been working diligently to resolve the issue.


In our search to know our readers better, we’ve asked that they tell us about themselves. We know that thousands of them have followed us for a decade or more. We’ve met a few hundred of them through the years, which has been very nice. But who else, we wonder, reads what we write week after week? So, please, tell us about yourself! Here’s our next installment of Meet our Readers.

IBEX 20bhsToday’s RV review…

In today’s review, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2021 IBEX 20BHS travel trailer. This is one of the 10 most noteworthy new RVs for 2021, so we wanted to check it out. Learn more.

Last week’s reviews
Escape 5.0 fifth wheel2021 Holiday House 18RBAlliance Paradigm 310RL2021 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 36HQ 25th Anniversary EditionLance 2075 travel trailer

Read all other RV reviews by clicking here.

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

Keep your generator linkage clean to prevent stoppages.
Use your cruise control or overdrive while towing?
RV waste water tips.
Fifth wheel hitching: An old-timer’s advice.
These two inexpensive cleaning agents work great!

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

Copyright 2020 by Clint Norrell

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

“Does the propane tank have to be empty before refilling?”
How do full-time RVers keep busy?
Avoid hidden fees by knowing a park’s reservation system
16 surprising ways to use toothpaste
How do you force Google Maps to go the way you want?

Brain Teaser

It’s Halloween! You decide to go explore an abandoned house. As you enter, an eerie silence embraces you. It’s pitch black. Using your flashlight, you fumble over and find the light switches. No luck, no electricity. You decide to leave! You turn around and WHAM, the door shuts. It won’t open. You’re trapped. Evil laughter echoes through the hallways and suddenly you see a figure appear in front of you, next to three doors. The figure says, “You must choose one door to free yourself.” The figure says the first door opens up to a room with a swarm of bees, you will be stung endlessly by them. The second door opens up to an electric chair. You will be strapped to the chair for five minutes and exposed to high voltage electricity. The third door opens up with a pool full of acid, you must jump in.
Which door will you choose if you have no other choice?

(Shhh. Don’t give it away. The answer is in tomorrow’s newsletter.)

Campground crowding. How long do you spend looking for reservations?

Several readers have expressed concern about a variety of topics this week. One is trash being left by campers and the possibility that the government may close down boondocking spots because of it. Some folks spend hours each day on the phone looking for a place to stay. And one reader says someone explained to him how to “game the system” (i.e., Reserve America) so they can always get the dates they want. But there are some positive reports also. Read more.

Your advice wanted about keeping mice out of your RV

We received this letter the other day and figured it was a good launching point for a discussion about how to keep mice (and other rodents) out of your RV. This becomes important this time of year when many of us are putting our RVs into storage for the season. Read the letter from Al Hubbard then if you have advice for him, and others, please leave a comment here.

A firsthand look at what it’s like to travel by RV with no reservations

By Nanci Dixon
No reservations, campground crowding, and our annual southern migration. We decided to live dangerously and follow our usual “no reservations policy” when traveling our snowbird route from the Midwest to the Southwest earlier this month. We wanted to see what it was like, and if it was even possible, in this time of massive RV sales, crowded campgrounds and COVID. Read more about Nanci and her husband’s travel journey, plus get some great tips on how to find a place to stop for the night (“all the things I learned along the way…”).

Reader Poll

Will you do more holiday shopping online this year than last year?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.

The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Has your RV ever been in a repair shop for a month or longer? See how more than 2,100 other RVers responded by clicking here.

Tips to improve your RV’s gas mileage

This is written by our friend Eric Johnson, from TechnoRV
Filling an RV or tow vehicle’s gas tank is never cheap, even when the price of fuel is relatively low. … There are a lot of factors that contribute to the gas mileage of RVs. … You can make a difference in your miles per gallon with a few adjustments. In fact, you can increase your gas mileage by up to 20% just by inching up a fraction of a mile per gallon, depending on where you start. Learn more.

“They gave us earplugs at check-in.” Why are so many RV parks near train tracks?

By Nanci Dixon
I had to chuckle one night as we settled into bed. I heard the melancholy whistle of a train passing by and instantly knew we were at an RV park. I was chuckling because I have the ability to turn my hearing aids off; however, my husband is not so lucky. He can still hear the plaintive call of a train going by all night long. Read more then please participate in the poll in the post.

Spooktacular casino camping, October 31, 2020

This week our readers and Facebook friends had some great advice and also a few warnings about casino camping and gambling to pass along. Read the rave reviews for Seven Feathers Casino in Oregon, some great casinos in Canada, a recommendation for the Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma, and more … here.

Wacky rigs: Airplane RV

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Over the years we’ve covered a lot of, shall we say, unusual rigs. But an airplane RV? Well, this one used to fly, but it doesn’t anymore. Rather, Gino Lucci’s former Navy R4D plane only flies – down the road – as a Class A motorhome. Check this out!

Popular articles from last week

RV Review: 2021 Camp365, a most unusual folding trailer.
Are you unintentionally spoiling RVing for others?
RV review: Escape 5.0 fifth wheel.
Campground crowding. “I might as well stay home!” and other complaints.
RV review: Rockwood Geo Pro 19FBTH toy hauler.
Is geotagging ruining nature and the outdoor experience?
RVelectricity – Get your RV ready for winter maintenance.
New Car Review: 2020 Honda Pilot, can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
An easy tip to keep the motorhome warm on the road.
Meet your fellow readers, October 24, 2020.
Where are all the black RVers? Why the outdoors isn’t as inclusive as you think.
Building an RV park: Septic system approved! Costs escalate.

🙂 Saturday Giveaway! 🙂



How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (October 31, 2020) by 7:00 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.

Enter here


LAST WEEK’S WINNER of a copy of our editor’s new book The ABCs of RVing was Robbi Gerding of Portland, Oregon. The previous week’s winner of Mike Sokol’s book RV Electrical Safety was Barney Larry Hughes of Gibsonville, North Carolina.


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

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.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

The perfect RV cookware does exist!

By Tony Barthel
If you like to cook, sometimes life in an RV can be a challenge. Having all the right pots and pans available means having to tote those pans around, and the space allotted in some RVs might not be sufficient for a whole kitchen-worth of stainless steel. However, I found a great solution that I have been thrilled with… Continue reading.

Featured video

RVing in 1931

Oh, you gotta love this British newsreel from almost 90 years ago. One guy and three women go camping with their state-of-the-art caravan (travel trailer). Hey, dream on, guys! We love the scene where the man and one of the women dance outside as the two other women snack at the folding table.

RV Electricity

Power principles further explained

Dear Readers,
Here’s a two-fer (or possibly three-fer) article for you where I combine a few of my previous articles on 50-, 30- and 20-amp pedestal outlet wiring. Have fun

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

Avoid space heater danger: What you need to know – Part 2

As promised, here’s Part 2 on space heater safety. … This time we’ll discuss the various space heater technologies available as well as potential fire hazards from flammable material placed too close to the heater or power cable. Read more.

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

Watch for RVelectricity Newsletter Issue 36, which you’ll be notified of in your Inbox tomorrow. What? You’re not subscribed? Well, you can sign up here so you don’t miss it!

RV Tire Safety

Is there a specific “safety margin” on tires?

By Roger Marble
I recently read a question on a blog about tire “safety margin.” I pointed out that the term “safety margin” really doesn’t apply to tires, but rather a “durability margin” might be a better way to think about tires. Tires seldom, if ever, fail as soon as they are run 10% overloaded or run 20 psi low or 10 mph over their stated speed rating. Damage is cumulative and I don’t know of any automotive parts that “repair” themselves. Continue reading.

RV Short Stop

Elk, wildlife viewing perfect outdoor activity during pandemic

Outdoor adventures are much more safe than indoor activities during COVID-19 challenges. While most visitor activities are on hold indefinitely at many wildlife refuges, free outdoor viewing of these magnificent creatures is still possible at a number of places during the holidays. Read more about where you can safely view impressive bighorn sheep, elk and other wildlife here.


RV Fire Safety

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 2 of 13

Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation.

Recognizing the signals from each type of detector is important because different reactions are required for each type of alarm. With smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, stay low when they sound. LPG gas gathers low, so the best action is standing upright when you hear the LPG detector. An easy way to remember what to do is to observe the placement of the detectors. If they’re placed high, then you should stay low, and vice versa. Weekly testing will also help you become very familiar with the varying sounds of each so you’ll know how to respond.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Reader letters

Dear Chuck,
We are in Green Mountain RV Park in Lenoir, N.C. Yesterday the remnants of Hurricane Zeta came through. I thought I would send you a picture. All roads out of the park were closed but we were fortunate that it subsided very quickly and the roads are now passable. Just wanted to thank you for all your great articles and to let you know we brag about you and your team all the time! —Rocky and Debbie

Dear Debbie and Rocky,
It’s good to hear from you again. Wow! Scary scene there. I’m glad the water didn’t get any deeper. The photo is a good reminder to others to think about possible flooding when they select a campsite. —Chuck

Museum of the Week

From the @oldcarusa Instagram. Click to enlarge.

Old Car City U.S.A.

White, GA

This place is a photographer’s dream! In White, Georgia, you’ll find an automobile graveyard (er, junkyard…). You can easily spend hours here, walking through the six miles of trails through the forest admiring, and photographing, more than 4,000 abandoned, weathered, rusted cars, trucks and other vehicles. Some of the cars are covered in moss, others have trees growing on them, or through them, or under them… Anyway, it’s a neat place and if you’re in Georgia, you’ll want to check it out. Visit the official website here.

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“This is Lizzie, our nearly 3-year-old GSD. She is such a lucky girl as we have been hunkering down on the Oregon Coast since mid-March. She loves to be able to chase her ball on the wide-open beaches that we have here. She is a friend to everyone she meets and wants to play with every dog – sometimes forgetting how big she is. Our beautiful girl.” —Rick and Jenn G.

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: CeCe Tuesday: Jelly Wednesday: Rosie • Thursday: Tayla & Takota
• Friday: Oliver


During WWII, mail delivery services in the U.S. were overloaded with mail and needed a new system to increase organization and productivity. They started using postal zones (for example, Minneapolis was zone 16). In the summer of 1963, the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP codes!) was introduced to the public.

Laugh of the Week

You have to watch this dog-gone hilarious Halloween prank! If this video doesn’t make you laugh (and shudder…) we don’t know what will! If you’re afraid of spiders… well, you’ll see… Click here.

Leave with a song from the past

In honor of Halloween, Alvin and the Chipmunks sing the Monster Mash.

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: Nanci Dixon, Mike Sokol, James Raia, Keith Ward, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Barry and Monique Zander, J.M. Montigel, Tony Barthel, Clint Norrell, and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects 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, who was taken from us by the coronavirus. We miss him terribly!

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

ADVERTISING: Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck (at)

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.

Need help? Contact us.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Art V
1 year ago

Nanci’s article was excellent and kudo’s to rvtravel for running it. This is the kind of article that makes this a great news letter to read. Keep up the good work Chuck and staff.. ……

Bob Weinfurt
1 year ago

The way I see it is a fellow RVer is a fellow RVer. What’s race got to do with enjoying the lifestyle? I try to enjoy the places and people around me.
Chuck, you and your staff do a great job enlightening people to just how great RVing can be.

1 year ago

You need to stop stressing (easier said than done). I would think the majority here will understand if you want to post a message to all for their comments and support. You have to have a life besides this newsletter, the daily newsletters and all the FB groups.

1 year ago
Reply to  rvgrandma

RV Grandma I totally agree you folks stop stressing about all the reply backs to us. One reply to all is sufficient because we await with baited breath in what other helpful information we are going to get and how we should respect all in the RV social circle because we are one people.

Bob Amoroso
1 year ago

I get a lot of emails every day. I always go to the RV Travel newsletter first. I love seeing what’s new, what’s happening, what’s interesting, who’s going where etc.
Keep it up, I’ve been camping/RVing over 40+ years and you have a lot of good information for the new crowd coming out. Good job you guys…..and gals.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Amoroso

Thanks so much, Bob! We appreciate you … and your kind words! Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Amoroso

Bob & Chuck,
That’s IT! Missing from the newsletter is the “what’s new, what’s happening”. I felt deep down, something is missing…

1 year ago

Hey Chuck, top of the morning! I don’t always agree or sometimes like what you say but it’s your choice and I respect that, so should all. We’re still new to RV’ing(three years and counting) and still find very helpful info on your website. We are not Caucasian, African-American or Hispanic and have not endured any racial bias from our trips. I always talk to my camp neighbors, being friendly because that’s who I am. Look, if you cut any of us up, “we” all bleed the same color. Last thing on attempting to answer all the emails, don’t! Gail, enjoy your retirement. Read the emails at your leisure, kick your feet up, enjoy your glass of wine and watch Chuck go crazy trying to help us all. Stay safe!

Gail Meyring
1 year ago
Reply to  Gman

Thank’s Gman. I’ll take your advice!

james Fellows
1 year ago

I will say thank you for all your hard work. You guys are fantastic. You have provided me with many hours of enjoyment. I hope our paths will cross so I can thank you in person. But for now this is all I can do but at least you don’t have to worry about an email.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  james Fellows

Thank you very much, James, and you’re welcome! We think you’re pretty fantastic, too! Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

1 year ago

The only way things in our present state of society will change is for the people at the center of the societal bell curve to speak out. You are to be commended for your stand against the hateful individuals on the curve ends or fringe. Your stand and action against such individual is more than just talk. We need more people like you to “just say no”, to steal a quote.

Phil Atterbery
1 year ago

All your subscribers can’t be wrong. Forge ahead. Love your writing & the contributions of your staff. Stay healthy & warm. Regards from Wichita KS.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

Thank you, Phil! Your comments and moral (and other) support are very much appreciated. Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

Sue & Jim
1 year ago

We love reading your newsletters – they are always so informative. You and your staff work really hard to produce such great and newsworthy articles. I especially loved this one. Nanci Dixon again hit it out of the park with First Hand Look and found her article to be refreshing. And I busted a gut watching the Mutant giant spider dog terrorize everyone. Someone really had a good time making that one. Again, thanks for all you do for this industry – and may you all be blessed for your efforts and hard work. We love you guys, so keep up the good work everyone.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue & Jim

Thank you so much for your kind words and your ongoing support, Sue and Jim. We love you too! Have a great day, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

STEPHEN P Malochleb
1 year ago

I agree with Tim. We know you can’t respond to every person but as he said, we want to show our support. You and your staff do a great job. And if you occasionally ruffle a few feathers, (well-Suck it up buttercup).As they say, you can’t please everyone all the time. Thanks and HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago

Thank you, Stephen! We appreciate your kind words and your ongoing support. (Why did it just pop into my head to go out trick-or-treating dressed as a buttercup?! 😆 ) Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

Lisa Adcox
1 year ago

I love this news letter.
Thanks for the nice email I got.

Patti Panuccio
1 year ago

Keep up the good work.

Tim Nowak
1 year ago

I appreciate yours and Gail’s attitude of wanting to respond to all of the emails but I think most like me do not expect a personal response. We just want to show our support and appreciation for what you all do with this newsletter. My wife and I really enjoy the honesty and clear information. Keep enjoying what you do!!

1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Nowak

We agree. Life is to short. to stress over being nice

Sandie DIXON
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Nowak

Definitely agree that we do not expect a personal response. Continuing to do the newsletter is thanks enuf.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Nowak

Thank you for the thank you for the thank you, Tim and wife. 😆 (Just wanted to put my two cents’ worth in.) Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at

Karen Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Nowak

Ditto to the other responses. No reply needed. But nice if you do.