Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 976


    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.

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    November 28, 2020

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

    Guest essay

    ‘Tis the season of giving thanks, and of hope

    By Nanci Dixon
    In this very trying time (very, very trying time), I am reminded that this is the season of giving thanks. I will admit, in the past the meaning of Thanksgiving was usually lost under the anticipation and management of a turkey. Nope, not a favorite uncle – a real turkey. And, of course, the dressing and all the other sides. The true meaning was lost in planning the day with family, setting the table, baking the pies.

    The core value of the holiday stems from the giving and teaching between the native peoples and the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The first Thanksgiving was a feast of friendship despite drastic differences, as well as a celebration of survival.

    It would seem in this tremendously difficult time – with an overwhelming number of deaths from COVID and with the toll still rapidly rising – this time of division and uncertainty and, yes, even residual hatred, it would behoove us to remember that first Thanksgiving: the coming together and that time of gratitude and hope.

    The times are not so different now as they were for those settlers. Over half of their group died that first winter.

    I am sure they were hoping to survive what could again be a harsh and cruel winter. In a sense, we are doing the same: hoping to survive what appears to be a harsh and cruel winter… holding out hope.

    Hoping to survive long enough for a vaccine, hoping for the resilience of a shattered economy, hoping for calmness and for a sense of being united once again – united with our families, our friends and our nation. United, despite our drastic differences.

    So I am holding onto hope and giving thanks. In a season of great distress, the important things seem to narrow to basically health, food, shelter. My children and grandchildren, though long-distance from us, are healthy. My 97-year-old father, one of the most vulnerable, is alive and joining us for an outside, very socially distanced and mostly masked Thanksgiving dinner. And I will remember to be thankful.


    We are looking for writers — to report news or write feature articles. Good pay with unlimited potential. Must have professional writing experience. If interested, write to us at editor (at) No beginners. Must know RVing inside-out.


    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 this week’s installment of Meet our Readers.

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

    Dirty RV windshield? Here’s a quick cleaning tip
    Some winter tips for winter RVing
    Tow ratings are lower for 4-wheel than 2-wheel drive
    Change your brake fluid for reliability and long system life
    Be a full-time RVer to save money?

    Marathon Coach review
    Marathon Coach

    Today’s RV review…

    Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Marathon Coach – The multi-million dollar motorhome. This incredible motorhome will make you feel like a rock star! Read about its amazing fully-customizable features here.

    Last week’s reviews
    2020 Black Series Classic12 Travel Trailer2021 Wildcat 368MB Mid-Bunk Fifth Wheel2021 Keystone Outback 324CG Travel TrailerPalomino Backpack HS-750 Truck CamperBoho Camper Van

    For previous RV reviews, click here.

    Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

    10 harsh RV realities for beginners

    By Dave Helgeson
    Many of us that have been RVing for years have learned the realities of RVing via direct experience (aka school of hard knocks) long before the advent of the “information super highway” aka the internet. Nowadays you can easily perform an online search for any subject and be presented with a huge choice of articles and videos. … Here’s a short video (viewed almost 1.5 million times since March 2018) depicting the “10 Harsh RV Life Realities for Beginners.” How many can you identify with?

    Free full-timing RV seminar from Escapees

    If you’ve had the urge to jump in the old RV and leave – permanently – here’s a class you don’t want to miss out on. The Escapees RV Club, the “go-to” group for full-time RVers, is putting on a full-timing RV seminar on December 6. No need to mask up for this one – it’s an internet-carried session, and there’s no charge for participating. Learn more.

    crowded campgroundsCampground Crowding: A few tips and ideas to avoid crowded areas

    More people than ever are taking up RVing. These newbies have determined that RVing is the safest way to travel in our pandemic times. The result is campground crowding like never before. This week readers give us great tips on “camping nearby” our intended destination, work camping to be sure to have a spot, breaking into boondocking gradually and, oh, how about buying your campsite? Real these tips and more here.

    Video: 2021 Airstream Interstate GT Feature Review – Part 1

    By Andy Pargh
    This is Part One of what I hope to be a multi-part series on getting to know the Airstream Interstate. In this episode, I’ll focus on the exterior features and connections along with the exterior and interior storage areas. The Interstate is part of Airstream’s Touring Coach lineup and is a 24-foot Sprinter van that has been converted by Airstream into a functional motorhome. As stated in the video, I’m one who appreciates Airstream’s contemporary designs, and this model does not disappoint. Learn more.

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

    At Wally World, some RVers are slobs
    Glimmer of hope over RV technician shortage
    New RVer asks: Should I carry water in my tank when traveling?
    Train slams stalled motorhome on track. See the impact

    Reader Poll

    How often do you use a printed directory when searching for a campground?

    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:
    Which device do you use the most when reading news on the Internet?
    See how nearly 2,300 other RVers responded.

    Brain Teaser

    There are five sisters who are busy in one room. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, Mary is doing the laundry. What is the fifth sister doing?

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

    Is this your RV?

    If it’s yours and you can prove it to us (send a photo for comparison), tell us here by 9 p.m. Pacific Standard time today, Nov. 28, 2020. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

    If this isn’t your RV, send us a photo of your RV (if you haven’t already) for a chance to win in future issues.

    THIS WEEK, TWO READERS RESPONDED and each claimed a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Congratulations to Dave Adamski of Pasadena, Maryland, and Terri Chavez of Enfield, Connecticut.

    We’ll have another photo in tomorrow’s newsletter (sign up to receive an email alert so you don’t miss the issue or those that follow). Some of these photos are submitted by readers while others were taken by our editors and writers on their travels around the USA.

    Reserving a campsite for “tonight”? Maybe some help

    One of the biggest frustrations facing some RVers is the inability to do a spur-of-the-moment trip. With so many RVers vying for a finite number of RV park spots, it’s nearly impossible to reserve your spot for tonight. Or is it? A new app is about to roll out that suggests you can find an RV park spot without booking it days or weeks in advance. Learn more.

    Visit a ghost town with “wild” animals to feed

    There’s a certain ghost town along Route 66 where wild animals roam the streets, and where the local merchants encourage tourists to feed them. Oh, they’re not so wild that people are afraid of them (but don’t stand behind and get kicked: that’s another story). Here’s a one-minute video by editor Chuck Woodbury, with a surprise ending, when one of the critters he encounters while driving out of town tries to eat part of his car. Watch the video.

    LP alarm goes off even when LP tanks are closed

    Chris Dougherty responded to this reader when he was’s technical editor.
    Dear Chris,
    My LP tanks are shut off. The LP alarm activates and will not stay off. I’ve checked for leaks (with soapy water) – no leaks at the lines. I also replaced the heavy-duty battery (although it wasn’t dead, it did test weak). The sensor indicates it should be replaced if test light is yellow, and not red. I’m getting an orange glow. Before I invest in a new sensor I would appreciate your input… I can’t find a manufacturer’s date on this unit. —Chuck
    Read Chris’ response.

    Mailbox of the Week

    If you keep your eyes open as you travel with your RV, you’ll come across some truly creative mailboxes, like this one taken years ago near Bellingham, Wash., by RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury. Please send your mailbox photos to us. We’ll post them for the rest of our readers to enjoy. Come on! There are some great ones out there! Send to editor(at)

    Popular articles from last week

    Best RVs of 2021 honored in free, online magazine.
    Peek inside luxury RV storage facilities and buy a unit for $366,120.
    List of RV Reviews (too many popular posts to list individually).
    Dirty RV windshield? Here’s a quick cleaning tip.
    Video: Don’t let moose lick your RV!
    RVelectricity – Cheap trick for finding a short circuit.
    Holy smokes! Is this is what they mean by “crowded campgrounds”?
    Building an RV park: What happens when you hit a rock shelf digging for a septic tank!
    Campground Crowding: “RVs are built to be self-sustaining.
    Consumer Reports skewers Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan trucks.
    RV gadget review: Lippert Jack-It® Double Bike Carrier.
    Really? Does your RV’s bathroom sink drain into the sewer tank? (Video and poll)

    🙂 Saturday Giveaway! 🙂

    The Prize: Rand McNally 2021 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas, which every RVer with an RV taller than 10 feet should bring along on trips.

    How to win

    We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 28, 2020) by 7 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

    This contest has ended. Check back next Saturday for a new giveaway!

    LAST WEEK’S WINNER of the Happy Camper Wine Glasses was Susan Ruzzamenti of Cedar City, Utah. The previous week’s winner of the George Foreman Grill was Jean Greves of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.


    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.

    Our Facebook Groups
    RVing Wacky, Tacky AmericaCasino CampingRVing Route 66The Future of RVingElectric Bikes for RVingRV Tires with Roger MarbleRVing the Back RoadsOutstanding but affordable RV parksCasino CampingFree CampgroundsRVing over 60RV Parks where you can fish without a licenseRVing Fulltime Southwest RV CampingNorthwest RV CampingRVing with DogsTowing Behind a MotorhomeRVing with a DisabilityRV Travel TipsTrucks for RV Towing RV VideosRV Crashes and Disasters

    RV Gadgets and Gizmos

    A neat trekking pole that helps light your way

    When a manufacturer actually goes camping you can tell. For example, SylvanSport sent me their WayLight Multi-Functional Camping LED Light and Trekking Pole. You can tell that these folks camp. The WayLight is an LED device, among other things. Essentially this is a walking stick with two different USB-rechargeable LEDs on the top: a round ambient light and a more focused beam-style flashlight. Continue reading. (Note: Tony really loves this gadget!)

    Featured video

    The history of Triple E RV

    In this short video, learn about the modest beginnings of Triple E RV, including the remarkable act of kindness by employees after a fire destroyed the manufacturing plant in the 1970s.

    RV Tire Safety

    People still erroneously blame “defective” tires for “blowouts”

    By Roger Marble
    In a previous post I covered Run Low Flex Failure (RLOF) and how there were telltale signs or physical evidence. These, while taken individually, are just circumstantial in nature, but when taken as a whole they make a very strong case for the tire having been operated for a number of miles at very significant air loss. In this post, I want to walk you through the thought process of a forensic analysis of the evidence that is available and show how an opinion or conclusion is reached. Learn more.

    RV Electricity

    Do I need a surge protector on an inverter generator?

    Dear Readers,
    I’ve written a number of times about the reasons for using a Total Electrical Protection (or EMS) surge protector on your RV, even when you’re plugged into your generator. And I’ve noted that I’ve seen cheap clone generators fail and go over-voltage, but I had never seen a Honda inverter generator fail and put out too much voltage – UNTIL NOW. Continue reading.

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

    Generator bonding basics

    Dear Readers,
    I’ve had several emails this week about bonding inverter generators, so now is a good time to rerun this J.A.M. Session from 2019 about how it works. I have a lot of experience with this since I invented the generator Neutral/Ground Bonding Plug nearly 10 years ago, and it looks like it will finally be accepted in the next National Electrical Code® (NEC) cycle. Pretty cool, eh? So here it is with links to other articles I’ve written about the basic principles.

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

    Bald Eagle (Blackwater NWR)

    RV Short Stop

    Winter is awesome bald eagle watching time

    Bald eagle watching is an awesome winter activity for families across much of North America. These magnificent birds mate for life and build their nests in tall trees near rivers, bays and wetland areas. The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. Many of the refuges are year-round and winter homes to these imposing migrating raptors. Learn more about where you can watch these majestic birds here.

    RV Fire Safety

    An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 4 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.

    Your next step is to determine where you and your passengers would meet if a fire occurred. A preset meeting place at each destination will help to quickly determine if everyone has safely exited the coach.

    Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

    Photo by @experiencinglife78, Instagram

    Museum of the Week

    International Towing and Recovery Museum

    Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Chattanooga, TN, is the birthplace of tow trucks and is home to the largest tow truck factory. The group “Friends of Towing” built this museum to honor the town’s past and preserving its towing history. Inside you’ll find tons of old tow trucks (and they’re pretty neat looking), old hardware, historic artifacts and much more. If you’re nearby, it’s worth a stop. Visit the official museum website here.

    Readers’ Pet of the Day

    “This is Kacey watching for his camping buddies. He is a 5 yr. old Coton de Tulear rescue. We really were lucky to find him. Camping in the Hitchhiker is his favorite thing to do.” —Kim Lewis

    Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
    • Monday: Josh & Honey Tuesday: Frankie & Rusty Wednesday: Bella & Sushi Thursday: Emma • Friday: Gypsy & Baby


    When was the last time you ate something at McDonald’s? Can you guess how much the fast food giant makes in a day? OK, fine, we’ll tell you. Every year McDonald’s takes in about $27.45 billion, which breaks down to $75.21 million each day. Wow! That’s a lot of Big Macs…

    Laugh of the Week

    From comedian George Carlin:

    Leave with a song from the past

    Little Blue Riding Hood

    This isn’t a tune. But it’s definitely entertaining. Listen to Stan Freberg’s tale about Little Blue Riding Hood. If you enjoyed the original Dragnet TV series with Jack Webb, you’ll enjoy this spoof.

    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. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Barry and Monique Zander, J.M. Montigel, Clint Norrell, and Andrew Robinson. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. 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.

    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 • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later.

    REGIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING: We can now run banners on in your town or in a designated area near you, for example to readers within 100, 200, etc., miles of your business. For information contact

    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.

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    5 months ago

    As a law enforcement officer, now retired, I would often come across a vehicle with a blowout or a wreck resulting from a blowout. Individuals and especially the media would jump on the defective tire bandwagon when the blowout was the result of an underinflated tire. Anytime I worked a wreck and most times when I assisted someone with a blowout I would check the air pressure in the other tires and find some or all of them underinflated. I would point this out to the driver/owner for their future safety. Too many people begin trips without checking tire pressure and condition, especially the air pressure in the spare tire (if one). I wish I had a dollar for every vehicle I assisted with an under-inflated spare tire.

    Ron L
    5 months ago

    Checking tire pressure before beginning trip is good, but does absolutely nothing for when you pick up a nail and have a slow leak where a TPMS gives you real time air pressure measurements and should be the absolute first thing you purchase with your new RV. Most new motorhomes (have no idea about trailers) come equipped or have as an option a TPMS. Don’t forget it’s just as important to have this system on your toad while towing too. I have seen several motorhomes pulling a toad with a blown tire with absolutely no idea that it has happened.

    5 months ago

    Love the History on the Featured Video! Great to see where it all started.

    Tommy Molnar
    5 months ago

    Same issue in Beatty, NV, except they aren’t particularly friendly. They meander through town all the time, especially at night, and haven’t a care in the world. A group will take up the highway (Hwy 95) and are in no rush, no matter how many cars and trucks are lined up waiting for them to get out of the way.

    5 months ago

    The towing museum is an absolute must see. Wife wanted to see it, I was indifferent. Spent several hours looking at the collection. Very easy location, just off the Interstate exit. Not sure about RV sized parking.

    Judy G
    5 months ago

    Loved the story of the ‘mining’ burros. Custer State Park in SD has the same issue. I always carry some mini carrots to prevent one from eating my RV.