Editor reports on what he’s up to

29

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR

Truth be told, I’m bored. Like most of you, I suspect, I am ready for this pandemic to go away. Let’s hope all goes well with the vaccine and we can get back to normal at least by next summer. I, for one, will jump right in line to be vaccinated as soon as I’m eligible.

Gail and I had planned to head down the Oregon coast again this year and then cut inland in southern Oregon or northern California, then make our way for Christmas to my aunt’s small orange grove ranch south of Fresno. But, nope, too many restrictions going on especially in California, so we cancelled our reservations and will stay put.

I’m sad to miss the ocean: Even in stormy weather, it’s so beautiful, and the air so fresh and clean, and most times you have the beach all to yourself. Whatever stress you’re experiencing releases with the roar of the ocean and each pounding wave. And the smell of the ocean is one of life’s greatest delights.

Gail and Archie on the Oregon beach last year at this time, back in BC times (before COVID).

It’s the rainy season in Western Washington. It’s gloomy here this time of year. The days are short. On cloudy days, you may need to turn your car headlights on by 3:30. Gail and I are lucky: We have a comfortable house with a back yard that’s like a small park. So no complaints. And our little terrier, Archie, is good company. We take some walks around the neighborhood for exercise. Sometimes when the sun is out, we hike on nearby trails.  Except for the masks everyone wears, all seems normal.

Emily at work last summer.

My daughter, Emily, has increasingly assumed many of the responsibilities of running this website and newsletters. I am so incredibly proud of her. I had announced about two years ago that I would drop out of the spotlight at issue 1,000 of this newsletter (that I founded in 2001). That’s now about five months away, and will mark the end of almost 20 years of my working life devoted to RVtravel.com.

I will not retire, but I will work in the background and try my best to teach some of my 50 years of knowledge about publishing to Emily. RVtravel.com must not sell out to some big company that wants to use it for marketing its products through milquetoast editorial. That is a very real threat. We must remain independent. Emily will likely be at the helm for a long time, and I believe she must be committed to quality, highly ethical journalism, not crappy clickbait stuff that is so tempting because it’s so profitable.

MORE RVing WEBSITES

More websites about RVing are popping up every day, some with big money behind them. My friend Curtis Coleman at RVillage.com has sold his successful RV social media platform to Togo RV, which is owned by Thor. Curtis assures me that nothing significant will change, certainly not negatively. But I’m suspicious: A big company like Thor does not buy up the largest RV social media platform without the expectation that its 352,000 members can be influenced to buy its products. That is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, as business is business – but I do have concerns.

Look what Marcus Lemonis did when he bought the Good Sam Club. He turned it into a Camping World discount club, once referring to members as “marketing tools.” And there was my friend Greg Gerber and his wonderful industry website RV Daily Report, who got run out of business when the RV industry blackballed him after he wrote a series of critical articles titled “The RV Death Spiral.” Lucky for us, we are not dependent on advertising, so we can’t be so easily crushed.

At times I feel threatened by the amount of competition for eyeballs from all the new websites and apps. I failed twice in business in my early years and the pain of such an experience is something one never forgets. And so I worry. I try to cover my bases to avoid failing again. But I feel good. This little business is solid, and I consider the future bright. Still, I worry.

Gail and I will spend Christmas alone at home as we did Thanksgiving. I will miss gathering with friends and family, but that’s not smart this year. It appears to me we are on the home stretch of defeating COVID, and all of us must have patience until it’s safe out there.

I am so excited to see that day come. I’ll hit the road with my motorhome and once again enjoy sitting around the campfire with friends I meet, without masks, enjoying each other’s company. Oh, I can hardly wait!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Wear your mask. Be safe.

P.S. If you would like to help our efforts to make this website and newsletters even better, please consider a small donation. Big or small, we welcome your support.

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PEGGY BRADLEY
4 months ago

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for your dedication in putting this newsletter together each and every day. I love it, and have shared with many fellow-RVers. God Bless!

Jen
4 months ago

Hi there, I’m so grateful for this site as RVTravel.com, and you specifically Chuck, was one of the first go-to sites we used when getting ready to full time six years ago. You provide valuable experience, insight and advice which we still heed. We have learned a lot over the years, but if someone thinks they can just go RV’ing without doing some deep research, that would be folly. Thank you so much! Jen & Steve

Neal Davis
4 months ago

Merry Christmas, Chuck, Gail, Emily, and all the RV Travel family! May you all be richly blessed in 2021!

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Thank you very much, Neal! A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Coralie Myers
4 months ago

Merry Christmas Chuck, Gail, Emily and Archie! We have been faithful readers since we started RVing 5 years ago. We are stuck on the east side of WA, in Spokane Valley. We had planned to head to Phoenix in the fall for work, but got delayed, then we both got COVID. I am okay, not as much energy, but my husband of almost 50 years was in the hospital for 9 days with pneumonia and COVID. He is home now, but still on oxygen and in bed most of the time. We are trying to get him better so we can go south, then east to be in Tennessee by Spring. His sister is dying of cancer, and he wants to see her. I can drive the coach on the freeway (if his blood pressure can take it!) but he needs to be well enough for in-town and parking, at least for now. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom and insight. I hate to think of the problems we would have had without you!

Lauren Baker
4 months ago

Merry Christmas Chuck and and staff. As a reader& follower for years may all your staff stay safe and covid19 free. Once the borders are reopened we plan on coming back down.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Lauren Baker

Thank you so much, Lauren! All of us at RVtravel.com wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! And we’ll be so happy when our friends to the north of us can all “C’mon down” to visit us in the states! Take care. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Judy G
4 months ago

And happy holidays to you, too. During this time of isolation, my first cup of coffee is spent enjoying your newsletters and frequently forwarding the jokes to cheer up my many friends. Works for me, too, as sharing humor was the reason I became a clown years ago. Keep ’em comin’.

Manuel Ramirez
4 months ago

Merry Christmas and greetings from sunny Yuma, Arizona.😷🚍😎🎄🌵Have enjoyed you column since we began fulltimimg in our motorhome two and a half years ago. We recently completed a five month
leg through California, Oregon, Washington and back to Arizona, just ahead of the pandemic closures! Here in Yuma plenty of RV Park vacancies due to lack of our Canadian friends. We will continue exploring all of Arizona in the next few months, then trade my motorhome for a 25 day river raft trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon!🚣
Please convey the merryest of Christmas wishes and a Happy New Year to your family and staff.

Gordy
4 months ago

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, etc to everyone!

Jann Forrest
4 months ago

Greetings from San Jose, Ca. No it is not a good time to be in either Oregon or California. Both are shut down. Its scary that I seem to be getting used to it. Its not a healthy way to live even with going for walks with the dog, but it is what it is. Over a year since we have seen our fifth wheel but we keep having work upkeep done on it long distance in Pismo Beach, Ca. I have mixed feelings about 2021 but try to not think about it. That virus might be able to come back in another form but hopefully the vaccine will help.

Merry Christmas to everyone especially in Seattle and Anacortes as well as all RVers everywhere.

Jeff
4 months ago

Merry Christmas chuck and rv staff. I do have a serious question to ask you.
If a fart can escape two butt cheeks, a pair of underwear, and a pair of jeans how is a mask going to help us?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Well, that’s an interesting analogy, Jeff. But I will say that all of those layers “tone down” the smell quite a bit. And a mask helps prevent the spread of droplets more than no mask. Every little bit helps. Merry Christmas to you, and stay healthy. —Diane at RVtravel.com

Gordy
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

One normally hopes farts are not full of droplets!
Lord; and everyone else please forgive, I do apologize, however I could not help myself.

Last edited 4 months ago by Gordy
Fred
4 months ago

I love & have read your newsletters for 15 years & look forward to Emily continuing the good work. In this editorial & in your newsletters, you keep mentioning the importance of not selling advertisements that would stifle your honest commentary. However, you continually promote an item in your newsletters that is a complete failure every time there is an incident it is designed to protect. I have written rvtravel.com more than once, with no response about this & provided photo proof of the results, but you continue to promote this item. These fireproof envelopes give buyers a false sense of security for cash, titles, etc.. The neoprene envelope, itself, does not burn, but the envelope stitching & the Velcro closure are quickly consumed in 5 minutes of a fire, then the envelope flops open & the contents are consumed. The 99% of people who buy these envelopes, but never have a fire. are clearly being misled.

Admin
Emily (@emily)
4 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Hi, Fred, Thanks for the kind words – it’s nice to ~virtually~ meet you! I’m sorry to just be responding to you now. We’ve seen your comments in the past which actually prompted my dad, Chuck, to purchase one of the fire-resistant bags you’re talking about. We tested it out and we were impressed with it. Unfortunately, some items are faulty, and you may have received one of those items (I’d highly suggest writing to Amazon and getting a replacement if you’re able!). This product has 3,350 reviews, and out of those, 94 percent are 4 and 5-stars. Only 1 percent are a one-star rating. We hand-pick every product we “advertise” through Amazon and make sure we don’t send our readers to an item that doesn’t perform as it’s supposed to.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us! We so appreciate your feedback! We wish we could follow up with every person who orders from Amazon, even though it’s not our business. Take care, Fred, and Happy Holidays! –Best, Emily, RVTravel.com

Gregory Brott
4 months ago

Chuck, Carol and I are wishing you, Gail and the RVT Staff a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year! https://flic.kr/p/2kinyof

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Gregory Brott

Thank you very much, Gregory and Carol! And thanks for the pretty Christmas card! Everyone at RVtravel.com wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Richard
4 months ago

New to RV…have a class C which we love…6,000 miles this year even with COVID around…just was very careful…you do great stuff here and help us new bees and old salts too I imagine..we lived on and off boats for 35 years and travelled over 45,000 sea miles now enjoying seeing our beautiful country..safe and merry Christmas and Happy New Year..I think we can still say that can’t we ??

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Thank you for your kind words, Richard. Welcome aboard! (See how I threw that nautical term in there? 😆 ) We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year, plus many wonderful years of RVing around our beautiful country. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Diane Mc
4 months ago

Merry Christmas Chuck. And to Gail and your staff. How great is it that you can leave your legacy in the hands of your daughter (while lurking nearby :-)).

Sorry you can’t make your trip this year. We currently are planning on leaving CA end of January headed to Fl for 2 months. Fingers crossed we can get out of CA. We have reservations thru March 8th. So far no one has cancelled. Fingers crossed. Daytona Intl Speedway are social distancing for the Daytona 500, which is sold out. People could roll their tickets to next year. Not enough people did that, so they are going to a seniority based assignment. So many “snowbirds” use the 2 weeks or some of it as part of their camping (flat rate for up to 14 days). We were nervous. Contacted them and they said you can still use your camping site even if you don’t get tickets. Really want to get out of CA for a bit. And yes, we will be careful.

Dick & Sandy from near Buffalo, NY now in Florida
4 months ago

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Chuck and Gail and your family, staff and friends. Sorry you had to cancel your trip plans. We decided to make our annual drive from our home near Buffalo, NY to Florida for the winter months. We wear masks when in public and social distance as best we can. We have stayed away from large groups and canceled going to Christmas and New Years gatherings. We use hand sanitizer sprays many times a day. We sanitize and wash our masks and wash our hands many times a day. That does not mean things can’t still happen. We will do our best to get through these difficult times as best we can. Stay safe, Stay well.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago

Thanks, Dick & Sandy now in Florida. Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to you, too, from all of us at RVtravel.com. Take care. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Don
4 months ago

Merry Christmas, Chuck. And many more, Post-Covid…
We too canx’d our Winter Rain-Birding trip, which would have taken us to a daughter’s place in South Carolina (where she and husband have just finished a full-hookup pad next to their garage just for us!), for the same reasons you’ve ditched your plan. But we just returned from a 5-day getaway in our coach from our Olalla home to Pacific Beach, on the WA Coast North of Ocean Shores. It was a great change of scenery and something I’d certainly recommend as a boredom cure. In November we spent what we call a “long weekend ” – Thursday thru Tuesday – in Port Townsend, at the great little RV park at Point Hudson Marina. Watching the storms blow through can be highly entertaining, and ANY change of scenery is a plus these days. You ought to have a go at self-isolating, RV style, within WA State. I promise you’ll like it!

Bob P
4 months ago

Merry Christmas and may your New Year be a happy and successful one.

Bill T
4 months ago

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021 to you and your staff.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

Thank you, Bill! Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours, from all of us at RVtravel.com. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ran
4 months ago

Happy Holidays to you and all the staff at RVT! Thanks for what you do and represent. We look forward to getting out and enjoying life again, as soon as we get the clearance to do so. Some of these social gatherings are killing us!
Hope to meet up with you all for some fun and favorite beverage by the campfire! Be safe, wear a mask, keep your distance! Stay home!……

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
4 months ago
Reply to  Ran

Thanks, Ran! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours, from all of us at RVtravel.com. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com