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December 12, 2020
If you would like to read this week’s issue with the ads included, click here.
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 RVtravel.com
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) RVtravel.com
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, 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 Hauler • 2021 nuCamp Cirrus 820 Truck Camper • 2021 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 26KVS MS Travel Trailer • 2021 r•pod RP-202 Travel Trailer • 2021 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 Volunteer.gov 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
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.
(Shhh. Don’t give it away. The answer is in tomorrow’s newsletter.)
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 RVtravel.com 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!)
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?
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 RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
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.
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?
Short video on easily finding a short circuit
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?
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
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
. . .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.
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
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 RVtravel.com.
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!
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?
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 RVtravel.com in your town or in a designated area near you. For information contact email@example.com .
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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