Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Members RV Travel Newsletter Issue 978

Welcome to, the newsletter for intelligent, open-minded RVers. 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!

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Page Contents

December 12, 2020

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

Editor’s corner

With Chuck Woodbury

Have you ever sat around a campfire with other RVers? Most of us have, many of us dozens if not hundreds of times. What did you talk about? Did you only talk about RVing?

No, I suspect you talked about everything — your kids, grandkids, your ailments, where you live or have lived, your military service, an exceptional movie you’d seen, and, of course, the weather. Some of you talked about your favorite sports team, maybe about yesterday’s game. You exchanged ideas about a great restaurant, or maybe a fishing hole where the trout were biting. You laughed a lot, too.

Now and then you may have talked about politics. Somehow, around a campfire, where you can actually see who you are talking with, the conversation stays cordial. I wish it were so here in cyberspace, but it is all too often far from cordial.

I believe that any gathering around a campfire where the discussion is solely about RVing, is boring. Oh, it might be fine for 15 minutes, but, heck, there are other things to talk about. Those of us who read this newsletter each week may all be RVers, but we also have interests far beyond the proper way to dump a holding tank.

I envision this Saturday newsletter as a whole bunch of RVers meeting up to socialize, to take a little cyber trip in words and pictures with our editors serving as tour guides. Yes, we will likely spend most of our time discussing the one interest we share — RVs and RV travel. But, just as around the campfire, the conversation will stray.

Personally, I love RVing. But I have other interests, as I’m sure you do. In this newsletter, I like to think that we should talk about RVing first, but if the conversation strays a bit, so be it. Let’s laugh a little, tell some tales, learn some tricks about RVing and life, and maybe toss around an occasional idea that makes us think, perhaps improving our lives as both RVers and human beings. Heaven knows there’s a lot to talk about…


RVing and autopsy tables
After nearly 20 years of publishing online, we have landed on thousands of email lists, most of them spam. We get “pitched” every day, usually several times a day, for something. But the email we received Thursday included one of the most unusual requests we have ever received. We’ll just tell you it involved autopsy tables. The rest of the story is here. So funny!

Your mailbox photos wanted
Did you miss last week’s installment of unique mailboxes spotted by our readers along the back roads of North America? If so, read it here. And please send us your photos using the form provided.

Write for
If you have professional writing experience and/or are an expert on a topic of high interest to RVers, please consider writing for us on a freelance basis. Work from anywhere. We pay. If interested, contact Chuck Woodbury at chuck (at)

Did you decorate your RV for the holidays? Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? What will your holidays look like this year? Tell us! Please submit a photo of your decorated RV, and/or a short paragraph or two telling us about your favorite holiday traditions, or what your holidays will look like this year (if they’ll look the same or different as past years). Show and tell us here. Thanks!

Stories in tomorrow’s newsletter

More than a year later, suspects in brutal murder of boondocking couple have yet to go to trial.

• RV park industry anticipates 53,000 new campsites in 2021.
• California traveling – Are you locked out of RV parks?
• January Florida RV SuperShow to go on as scheduled – What are your thoughts on this?
👍 KOA donates $900,000 to help kids with cancer go to camp.

PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • 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

RV skid rollers help prevent trailer drag on steep driveways
RV winterizing quick tips
Charging RV batteries
Black streaks: Where do they come from? How to deal with them?
Maintain your battery with 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter

Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Airstream International 27FB Travel Trailer. He writes, “Does Airstream basically do what other travel trailers do? Essentially, yes. But they take a look at how things are done and step things up a bit.” Read about it here.

Last week’s reviews
2021 Cherokee Wolf Pack 24Gold14 Toy Hauler2021 nuCamp Cirrus 820 Truck Camper2021 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 26KVS MS Travel Trailer2021 r•pod RP-202 Travel Trailer2021 Roadtrek Zion Class B

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

7 tips for keeping a happy marriage while RVing

Imagine that you and your partner just got married. You dated for three years, got married, and have now decided to buy an RV and travel the country. Wonderful, right? Absolutely! Until you’re three months in and 300 square feet suddenly seems small… very small. Do most marriages survive RV living? Well, of course, it depends on the couple. But once couples learn how to maneuver around the small space, and the country, together, married RV life is a wonderful life! Here are seven things to do for a happy marriage in an RV.

Operation Santa: A heartwarming, fun way to help a child in need

When you hear about a wonderful project such as Operation Santa, you just have to tell as many people as you can about it. This holiday season, millions of children across the U.S. won’t receive holiday presents from their families. … If you are one of the lucky ones, if you have even a small amount to give, Operation Santa, a joyful project from the USPS, is a wonderful way to do so. Learn how you can help make a child’s Christmas merry here.

Want to camp for free? All it takes is a little work…

Ready for your next RV adventure but worried about finding a campsite among the crowd? Are campsite costs going up? Like to work with people and stay active? Consider an amazing job. Read about the fun and amazing opportunities here.

Ingenious rat trap. Make it yourself. Easy!

VIDEO: You have got to love this rat trap! If you’re not into squishing the rodents with a traditional trap, this might be your answer. The basic equipment is a simple cable tie, a bit of string, a sheet of sturdy paper and some sort of weight, in this case an adjustable wrench. Oh, you’ll need some bait – cheese or another tasty treat. A piece of a Snicker’s Bar works great. Read more and watch the video.

True or false? Popular vehicle myths explained

True or false: You should always warm your car up before driving on a cold day. The answer is false. Although the majority of the driving population may consider this to be true, it can actually cause damage to vehicles if done continuously. There are a number of automotive beliefs drivers encounter on a daily basis that may or may not be accurate. To shed some light on this topic, the service specialists at Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge provide their car-care expertise to confirm and debunk eight common automotive beliefs here.

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

What I found on the Oregon beach sickened me
RV travels down icy highway with slideouts extended
Mr. Heater user dies from carbon monoxide – Could you?
73-foot RV even has an elevator

Brain Puzzle

Little French Bulldog, Pierre, is hiding among the polar bears at the North Pole! Can you find him? Thanks to Canine Cottages for this paw-some puzzle! Click the image to enlarge.

Courtesy of Canine Cottages. Click to enlarge.

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

Reader Poll

Will you travel to see friends or family for the holidays this month?

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:
How often do you buy a lottery ticket?
See how nearly 2,200 other RVers responded.

Another interesting poll: How many readers have lived full-time in their RV for the past 12 months? Is it 9 percent, 18 percent or 34 percent? Find out here.

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, Dec. 12, 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 PAST WEEK, THREE READERS RESPONDED and each claimed a $25 Amazon gift certificate. They were Jim M. of Fort Mill, SC, Dianne K. of Hollis, OK, and Rob B. of Helena, MT.

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.

RV parks with fishing lakes. No state license required

If you enjoy fishing but find it a hassle to buy a short-term state fishing license as you travel the country, here’s some excellent news. Many RV parks around the USA have private lakes or ponds where you can fish without a state license. Continue reading, and find out this week’s RV park where you can fish for free. (But watch out for the snapping turtles!)

crowded campgroundsCampground Crowding: Should reservation systems be changed?

More people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before. This week our inbox was full of comments and notes from our readers. A number of people mentioned the reservation systems, particularly Reserve America, and had some suggestions for improvements. Read more.

[Almost] Every website we love

Every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter we feature a Website of the Day. Some are about travel, some about food, some RV maintenance or DIY projects, others humor, others about apps and useful gadgets or photography… the list goes on. Here are some of those websites (and we’ll continue adding to this list), organized by category. Happy browsing!

Popular articles from last week

Drone hobbyist fined whopping $182,000 by FAA for breaking rules
GM recalls some Sierra and Silverado trucks
List of RV Reviews (too many popular posts to list individually)
2021 RV shipments still climbing: Where will we stay?
Snow bike kit expands e-bike function – Fun and practical!
A positive spin on our Crowded Campgrounds feature
Video: Terrifying collision between snowplow and truck
Are toxic chemicals in your RV making you sick?
Why you should NOT refill disposable propane cylinders, with an exception
Building an RV park: Septic update and a dirty cabin!
Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, December 5, 2020
Good News: Things to smile about this week
What would you do for an internet connection?

🙂 Saturday Giveaway! 🙂

The Prize: 14″ Pink Stuffed Dinosaur Plush Toy

How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 12, 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.

Click here to enter and see last week’s winner!

NEW! RV App Review

Great resource about U.S. Public Lands

If you’re looking to stay in places without paying site fees, get out your solar system and fill your fresh tanks and download US Public Lands. This map app from our friends at Technomadia shows you the boundaries of Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, National Monuments, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Tennessee Valley Authority, Department of Defense and other federal public lands. Continue reading and download here.

Featured video

This RV from yesteryear has a periscope!

This old car and trailer are like nothing you’ve seen and probably never will see. We’re not sure of the date of this old movie newsreel, but we do know that this futuristic RV never made it into mass production. But we sure do like the periscope in the car to see what’s behind! Who needs a backup camera?

RV Electricity

Short video on easily finding a short circuit

Dear Readers,
Last month I published an article about tracing short circuits in DC wiring without blowing a bunch of fuses. That turned out to be a very popular topic for my RV technician classes, so I’ve posted a 12-minute video showing how it works. Read more and watch Mike’s video here.

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

One battery tender for two 12-volt batteries?

Dear Mike,
I have two questions for you. I have two 12V batteries on my rig hooked up in parallel. Can I use a standard battery minder to keep them over the winter or do I need a special one for two batteries? And, what is the best way to connect them, bring them inside? Thanks for your help! —Kelly

Read Mike’s response.

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

RV Short Stop

Texas Parks safely celebrate the holidays

The Lone Star State is celebrating “the holidays safely this season” with 32 Texas State Parks and six State Historic Sites hosting “re-imagined,” socially distanced Christmas-themed scavenger hunts, self-guided walks and virtual events. Other happenings include drive-through light shows and holiday hikes. Read about some fun and safe ways to celebrate the holidays in Texas here.

RV Tire Safety

Can I “fix” my flat tire?

By Roger Marble
People often wonder: “Can I ‘fix’ my flat tire?” This is a reasonable question but the answer is not a simple Yes or No. Roger explains here.

Bonus tip: Valve placement on wheels

This applies to motorhomes and trucks with two tires side by side on the rear (duallies).

“Regarding the awkward placement of valve on outer rear dual tires: Why do they face inward and do they HAVE to be that way?”

If you look at the valve placement on the wheels, the side toward the motorhome of the “inner” wheel is the same as the side away from the motorhome of the “outer” wheel. Compare the valve placement of the wheel on the front and the valve placement of the inner wheel on the rear dual position and you will see the valve placement is the same. This means all wheels can be the same. If the valve was on the outside of the outside dual you would need a different spare tire/wheel assembly – as you can’t have the valve on the inside of your fronts or inside of the inner dual and still clear the brakes on wheels.

RV Fire Safety

An emergency fire plan that can save your life – Part 5 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.

During discussion of the meeting place, make sure everyone knows that if the coach is on fire, they should get out fast. Re-emphasize to everyone aboard that objects can be replaced, people can’t. Never stay behind or re-enter a burning RV to retrieve anything. Immediately leave through the nearest escape hatch.

Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Reader letters

Dear Chuck
. . .or whom ever you have delegated to read your emails now. I am requesting to be removed from your mailing list for the RV Travel free edition. I have been a faithful reader for several years and have looked forward to each edition until recently. I don’t mind an occasional guest writer in your place, however I don’t appreciate it happening all of the time. I have always considered myself to be one of your core readers and followers.

For me it appears that RV Travel, like other things, started out small and personal but got big and became impersonal. I am not interested in the paid edition or all of the other various online editions that are now available. I don’t care to spend my life in front of a computer trying to read everything that you promote. With that I bid you a good long life, and I will be on my way, too. —Don D.

Read Chuck’s response

Museum of the Week

The Dairy Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks, IN

Keep mooooooving, you’ve got a farm to visit! Fair Oaks was planned as a dairy and as a tourist operation from the start, which is probably why it has remained so successful. The whole thing spreads across 30 square miles and, yes, there are cows, 36,000 or so. There are exhibits about the dairy industry, a virtual reality experience, a 4-D ride, a fiberglass cow to milk, and so much more. After you’re finished in the museum hop onto a bus painted like a cow and drive up to the dairy and visit the birthing barn. Most days 80-100 cows born! If you’re in the area, this place is worth a stop (at least for the cheese and ice cream!). Plan your visit here.

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Meet Ginney (aka Gin & Tonic). We got her at 10 weeks and she went straight on the RV for a trip to Florida and she’s been going ever since. When the RV is in the driveway, it is sometimes very difficult to get her out of it. Safe travels to all!” —Laura McKinney

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Monday: Nefe Tuesday: Katie & Sadie Wednesday: Maddie • Thursday: Twila
• Friday: Buddy


Missing credit card payments may be an early sign of dementia, a new study says. Researchers found that patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia were more likely to miss payments for up to six years before getting diagnosed. SOURCE: CNN

Laugh of the Week

Our long-time reader and frequent content contributor George Bliss sent us this song and it was not what we were expecting. This isn’t the holiday greeting we’d want to receive… But we laughed so hard! Listen here.

Leave with a song from the past

Here’s a tune from 1937 called Hector The Garbage Collector. We will take a wild guess that there are not more than a half dozen recordings in all of existence about people who pick up garbage. As the song says, these people are often misunderstood. Just think for a minute what life would be like without them! Everything would be a stinking’ mess, wouldn’t it?


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.

We found these very cool curtains at an RV park. Envious at how cool they are? Maybe it’s time to get your sewing machine out and make some for yourself!

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.

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 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.

Need help? Contact us.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2020 by


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Kevin Loving
2 years ago

Chuck, You remind me of several congressmen who I have heard apologize to the group he was speaking to for the “RUBS” in his district that he had to represent. You really seam to HATE some of your subscribers and readers. It must be terrible to have to endure us horrible unenlightened conservatives!

2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Loving

Wow! Your comment begs the question, “Why do you keep reading?” If I felt that someone to whom I donated monthly “endured” me and felt I was “horrible” and “unenlightened”, I would simply move along. And if I were simply reading a free newsletter that made me feel that way, I’d certainly read something else. I never feel hatefulness from this newsletter, and I am puzzled that you do.

Chuck Woodbury
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Loving

Kevin Loving: I do not hate one single reader. My grandmother taught me when I was little fellow to avoid using the word hate. I taught my daughter and others the same. Where do you come up with such a wild accusation about me? You have no right. And, you do not speak for conservatives. Who are you, anyway, to speak for others? In nearly 20 years, I have met thousands wonderful people through this website and have no idea whether they are right wing conservatives or left wing liberals. I don’t care. Those I have met are kind people, good citizens, good parents, good friends, and respectful of others even those with whom they disagree. Implying that I hate readers and have to endure such hatred, is way out of line and one of the most ignorant, offensive statements from a reader I have received in years. My feelings toward you are not even remotely related to hate, only sadness that someone would have the need to stay such a thing about me without even knowing me.

Jerry X Shea
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck – Comments from some folks on any internet/social media site are really hitting the “tilt scale.” I have noticed that the manufacturer site for my RV seems to have a lot of newbies/first timers that just retired or are about to go into retirement. Not sure just why, but wow, say something they don’t agree with you on and some of them come back “hard and angry.” I enjoy posting suggestions on things to do or not do when they get their new RV. Actually had one guy, who does not even own a RV, respond with — “people can do whatever they want and you shouldn’t be telling them what to do.” Geeeezzzzz.

Bill Coady
2 years ago

As a guy who’s wife is an excellent amateur flute player (flautist?), whose daughter also plays very well, and whose sister is a professional on the instrument, I busted a gut listening to that heart-felt rendition of Ave Maria. Such technique, such tone, such musicality! But what do I know?…….I’m one of those people that hangs around with musicians…………they call us drummers 🙂 Cheers and keep up the good work!

Greg Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Coady

My son is a drummer. He has performed with high school and university orchestras and marching bands as well as a large entertainment park entertainment band, a Drum and Bugle Corp and various “Rock” bands (the quotes are mine because I’m not sure what it was they played).
He once told me the way to tell if the stage is level is if the drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. 🙂

And I agree, that Christmas Greeting video is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen/heard.

Susan H
2 years ago

TIRE QUESTION. Anyone heard of this? Tow 2013 Ford Cmax auto transmission hybrid (weighs 5k #) behind 2014 28 ft Sunstar class A. Part time rver from Northeast. Car tires slowly cupping (wearing where tread meets wall). Lots of tread left. Car mechanic & tire salesman think might be due to towing? I always buy good tires. Since my car front extremely low to ground, RV tow L bar is lowest made. Any thoughts? Tx

Mike Albert
2 years ago

Good morning all. This is not about RVs or RVing. So I apologize in advance. I spoke with our son who is a RN at a San Diego area hospital. He worked in the ER and in infectious disease departments. I trust his opinion and reasoning. He said that Covid does not discriminate and is real. He was confused why some think Covid is not real and they are not impacted by it. His simple explanation about why governments are shutting down is this. At his hospital as well as others in the area, ER beds are having a shortage. People are on stretchers in the halls without treatment because there are no rooms to put them in. The amount of Covid patients is overwhelming the system and “normal” emergency patients, heart attack, stroke, traumas, etc… are having delayed treatment. We need to take precautions now to prevent the further spread. Thanks for letting me rant.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Amen. Our daughter is a nurse and she’s stressed and scared for us and her other loved ones.

Scott R. Ellis
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

I was very pleased (and, frankly, mildly surprised) to see the results of today’s poll, which, at least when I checked, was showing that a large majority of us plan to stay at home for the coming holidays. Hang on, people–there is relief on the horizon.

Betty Danet
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Our friends and family are as concerned about spreading or contracting the virus as we are, especially since we are mid 70s. Can still feel the love through calls and tele-gathering. Stay safe and well, everyone.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

Thank you for your eye-opening and heartfelt message, Mike. And thank you to your son and all other healthcare and frontline workers out there. C’mon, folks. Let’s just do what needs to be done to keep this from spreading any more than it is — and try to keep from overwhelming the hospitals and caregivers any more than they already are. What’s so difficult about masking up, maintaining a safe distance, and not congregating?! There’s always next year — but only if you and your loved ones take precautions this year. Thank you. 🙂 —Diane at

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

I have a way of killing rats outside, not inside. I will email Chuck, his family can try it and see if they want to publish it.

2 years ago

Loved your Opening Editor’s Corner this morning. Amen!

2 years ago

Bad link. RV tire safety.

Emily Woodbury
2 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

Thanks for letting us know, Glenn. We fixed it. Take care! –Emily,

2 years ago

Hey Chuck! No good deed goes unpunished! As you already know, if you give someone something for free, they will find something to complain about it. Those of us that appreciate all you do to keep us informed, enjoy the daily and weekly read!

2 years ago
Reply to  Ran

Agreed and well said.

tom mason
2 years ago
Reply to  Ran

I’ll second that !

2 years ago

“Laugh of the Week” did not make me laugh as it hurt my ears while listening to it.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jopa

Thought is was hilarious for some odd reason. Haha

Robert N. Cordy
2 years ago
Reply to  Jopa