Thursday, March 30, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 740

Learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. This newsletter, now in its 15th year of continuous publication, is funded primarily through advertising and voluntary subscription contributions from our readers. Thank you!

Editor’s corner
With Chuck Woodbury
Chuck (at)

I wrote this a few years ago, but I love the story so much I am posting it here again (updated a bit). I hope you enjoy it!

mike-poster-740If you don’t have plans for June 3rd and 4th, then I suggest you head over to Fruita, Colorado. For one weekend every May or June the people of Fruita, with great appreciation of their history, stage the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. Now, if you think this is a joke, let me assure you that I am absolutely serious.

Mike, a Wyandotte rooster, was born in Fruita in 1945. Nobody knows the actual date for a simple reason: Who cares when a chicken is born? He was owned by Lloyd and Clara Olsen, who envisioned the bird on their dinner plate one day. So when Mike, who was unnamed at this point, was sufficiently plump, Lloyd grabbed his axe and lopped off the fowl’s head. In most cases, a headless chicken will run in a circle a few times and then drop dead. But Mike just kept going, sort of like the Energizer Bunny except he was a chicken.

Mike is remembered in this statue in downtown Fruita.

History did not record what happened next, but it can be assumed that Lloyd either repeated the process on another fowl, or he and Clara ordered takeout Chinese.

The next morning, Lloyd found the headless chicken sleeping like a baby, his neck tucked under his wing just like any other chicken, except, of course, other chickens had heads. Lloyd felt sorry for Mike and decided to feed his neck with an eyedropper. A week later Mike was doing fine.

Lloyd was curious how a chicken could live without a head. So he packed up Mike and headed off 250 miles to the University of Utah to consult with scientists.

Mike sans head

They had never seen anything like Mike. After careful analysis, they determined that Lloyd’s axe blade had missed Mike’s jugular vein and a clot had prevented the bird from bleeding to death. Although most of Mike’s head was gone, most of his brain stem and one ear remained. Since most of a chicken’s reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem, Mike was able to stay healthy. In his 18-month life he grew to a strapping eight pounds.

NOT ONLY DID MIKE BECOME LARGE, but famous! Life and Time magazines both did stories. Not a stupid man, Lloyd decided to cash in on the publicity. So he and Mike went on tour. Audiences from coast to coast paid a quarter to marvel at the bird without a head.

Alas, all good things must end. For Mike and Lloyd, it came in a motel room in the Arizona desert. In the middle of the night, Mike began to choke. Unable to find an eyedropper to clear the bird’s open esophagus, Lloyd watched his famous bird expire.

Nowadays a statue in downtown Fruita honors Mike’s memory. And every May or June, the small town near Grand Junction celebrates its famous fowl at the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. Among this year’s attractions: wing and peeps eating contests.

If you’re looking for something unique to do next month, you might want to wander on over. A good place to stay is in the beautiful campground in Colorado National Monument, an easy drive away.




There’s no contest or survey this week. But we’ll debut our first Spin and Win video contest next Saturday — the only game show just for RVers! The best way to ensure you get it immediately when it’s posted is to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Did you miss last week’s issue of RV Travel? You can read it here.

Follow RV Travel on Facebook.

Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PM
Wish your special someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary and we’ll post your well-wishes and your short comment right in this newsletter. It’s super easy to leave your greeting. Just click here.

It’s free! Come on, don’t be shy! We’ll run your message in the nearest newsletter before your special date!

See this week’s greetings near the bottom of this newsletter. 

presenting-738_edited-1Featured categories
You’ll find some good reading material here.
LP gas system.
Siding and slideouts.
Medical and health.
Hooking up to utilities.
Editor Chuck Woodbury’s Roadside Journal.

Reduce air drag and boost fuel efficiency — Airtab® your RV!
Airtab-logoJust peel and stick Airtabs™ to the rear sides and the rear roof of your RV coach or trailer to create swirls of air that reduce aerodynamic drag, save fuel and improve stability. Airtabs™ dramatically reduce trailer ‘fish tailing’ and crosswinds pressure to RVs from passing trucks, while improving fuel efficiency 2% – 5%! Click on the video.

Click here for more information about using Airtabs™.

Click here to purchase Airtabs™.

572-beautifuldime-738Would you pay 10 cents to read this newsletter?
Our staff works hard to bring you an entertaining and informative newsletter every Saturday. The readers of the newsletter help make it possible with their voluntary subscriptions. Even a pledge of $5 a year would be appreciated — that’s less than 10 cents an issue! Many readers pledge more — $10 a year is less than 20 cents an issue! If you care to chip in, please know we will be very appreciative. Just contribute what you think is fair. Enter a voluntary subscription.

1TT_Card_271x120px_ChuckEnjoy the Freedom
of Camping with a
Thousand Trails Camping Pass
Chuck Woodbury has one! So should you! readers click here to learn more
& SAVE $100

Ford recalls F-150 pickups, Expeditions and more
Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.34.46 AMFord has issued a recall for thousands of rigs popular among some RVers. A bum transmission software issue in 2012 Expeditions, and 2011 and 2012 F-150 pickups can force an unwanted downshift, creating the potential for a crash. Close to 202,000 rigs are included in the callback. And 81,000 Ford Explorers from 2014 and 2015 are on recall for suspension toe links that could fracture. Read more.

Reader RVs

photographer-682(2)RV-Houston-4-4-2016What RV do you drive or tow?
Please send us a photo of your RV with a 150-200 word description of where and how you travel with it, and what you like (or don’t like) about it. (If you want, just send us your notes and we’ll put your story together for you.) If you have a photo of it in a scenic setting, that’s great. Be sure to include your name(s) and your hometown (unless you’re a full-timer). We’ll post them to Send to assistant editor Diane McGovern at Diane (at) .

CLICK HERE to see this week’s issue of RV Travel Reader RVs.

Coming Next Saturday

cool-prize-headThis Week’s Contest
Last week’s winner
: Gary Sandberg of Bellevue, Wash.
His prize, a Camco folding step stool, is on its way

Our first Spin and Win Video Contest debuts next Saturday. Be sure to check it out. RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury is your game show host, with Gail the super spinner at  the prize wheel.


The Rocky Mount Fire in Shenandoah National Park is now 90 percent contained, thanks in part to recent rainfall. The fire burned more than 10,000 acres since April 16, and is the second largest wildfire in the park’s history. It is suspected to be human-caused.

RV manufacturers are continuing to see sad sales figures in Canada. Statistical Surveys Inc. says February shipments of towable RVs dropped 11 percent compared to February 2015. Travel trailers declined 6 percent; fifth wheels tanked 25 percent. Pop-ups slid a relatively light 2.5 percent, but nobody bought a park model in February.

Photo: Camping World Stadium, kitch on
Photo: Camping World Stadium, Kitch on

Are you familiar with the Orlando Citrus Bowl? Not any more. The popular downtown Orlando venue is now officially Camping World Stadium. The big RV retailer of the same name has inked an agreement with Florida Citrus Sports to take over name sponsorship — and will also underwrite the preseason and after-Labor Day football games, now dubbed the Camping World Kickoff.

Bear season came early to the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. Several areas between Oliver Hollow and Wilbur Dam are closed to recreational use until August 15 due to black bear activity. The Oliver Hollow area is a popular dispersed camping area.

City councilors in Lake Elsinore, Calif., have big plans for their municipal campground. The existing 160-site plot has no full RV hookups, but the city says it’s handing over $400,000 to a design firm to come up with plans for changes that will provide room for 236 RVs with full hookups in addition to other enhancements. The total estimated project costs $10 million. No estimated completion date has been floated.

Photo: NPS
Photo: North Rim by NPS

The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) will swing the gates open and accommodate campers beginning May 15.

Paso Robles, Calif., has joined the large number of cities rolling out RV parking restrictions. Come August, RVs can only park on the city’s streets when equipped with a police-issued permit. That permit is valid for only 72 hours, and only one per month will be issued. Proponents of the ordinance say it’s a matter of safety.

PHOTO ABOVE: Steve Walser photographed this (Lucky Card) Dining in style inside a 1959 Cardinal in Stanwood, Wash. See more of Steve’s photos or purchase them as prints, on tee-shirts, etc. by clicking here. Photo © Steve Walser

Canada wants more Americans to visit. Canada’s 150th anniversary falls in 2017, and the government is dropping entry fees at all national parks in celebration. Beware, Lower 48ers: If park visitation by Canadians is any indicator, you’ll need to get your reservations in early to find a campsite. Bookings in 2016 are already up 20 percent for the same reservation period as last year.

One more for stupid pet tricks. No, not cats or dogs, but stupid people trying to pet a bison. On opening day at Yellowstone National Park (Wyo,) a visitor spotted a bison relaxing near a walkway — so she walked up to the beast and tried petting it. The bemused bison gave a warning shake of the head as she touched it, and the woman got away unharmed. Another visitor filmed the episode, and park rangers say if the woman can be identified she faces stiff fines.

When the Canadian Loonie (dollar) took a dive, so did bookings at Virginia Beach, Va., RV parks. Trying to make up for the disparity, the local visitor’s bureau is offering Canadians deep discounts on attractions. One area RV park employs 20 staffers who speak French — they’re obviously hoping the discount trick works.

RVs & Electric Bikes – the perfect match!
evelo-logo-732An Electric Bike is the perfect, simplest and most affordable way of sorting all the ‘challenges’ of RV’ing. Get around camp effortlessly, visit the sites or town nearby without unhooking or simply enjoy a fun ride with fellow campers! Click here to discover our electric bikes and get $100 off, free shipping & returns, and 0% financing on any new EVELO using the code RVTRAVEL during checkout!

news524(2)More News

Illinois camping opportunities have taken a hit. The state’s park managers say Horseshoe Lake State Park and Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area are “closed indefinitely.” Both areas have closed because of “termination” of electrical service; additionally, Horseshoe Lake has also lost garbage service. The state will offer refunds or alternatives to those holding reservations.

Campers who take their RVs to the Adirondack Balloon Festival, Queensbury, N.Y., will no longer get free parking; They will now be charged $10 for the weekend. This year’s festival runs September 22-25.

A $150,000 federal grant spells a dump station and shower house for the Big Hollow Recreation Area near Sperry, Iowa. The total bill of nearly $600,000 means more RVers will use the area, says a county official, noting many were turned off when they learned there was no place to dump tanks. The new improvements should be completed by next summer.


After smacking into a guardrail on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (Calif.), an RVer not only has a damaged motorhome, but will be cited for not being properly licensed. The driver hit the rail, ruptured a fuel tank and spilled diesel fuel. California Highway Patrol officials say the rig was a 43-footer, and the driver held only a Class C noncommercial license – which allowed him to drive a “housecar” up to 40 feet in length.

When Alberta, Canada, RV dealer Sunridge RV “pulled the pin” on operations in March, it left behind a trail of unhappy creditors to the tune of $10 million. One of them is Leah Elliot, who traded in a 2011 RV with the signed understanding that her $24,000 debt on the trade-in would be paid by Sunridge. It wasn’t, and now the bankruptcy trustee has told Elliot she can’t have the rig back — it had been sold to another customer before the business closed. Royal Canadian Mounties say they won’t investigate the case as a crime as it was a financial deal gone bad. It appears Elliot is up the creek.

Photo: public domain

Vermont officials warn: Moose on the move! Spring sees more moose/motor vehicle accidents than any other time of year – and 19 human souls have perished in such encounters since 1985.

Recent events at Lincoln, Nebraska’s, Wildwood Lake put heavy emphasis on the “wild” part. Police arrested 65-year-old Robert Miles after a canine confrontation turned ugly. The man showed up at the campground with four dogs, one of which bit a camper’s hand after it had gone after the victim’s dog. Two women tried to intervene, and Miles zapped them both with a stun gun. At that point he allegedly yanked down his trousers and publicly pooped. Miles was booked on a potpourri of charges.

rvbuslogo519Keep up with RV Industry news
throughout the week at


RV Quick Tips
528coffeeKeep all your manuals handy
Files of appliance and other RV manuals driving you batty? An inexpensive plastic “magazine file,” will keep all the booklets together. Now a couple of screws will hold it in place in a cabinet or closet.

Take it easy when dumping your RV’s tanks
Dumping tanks? Don’t “slam open” the dump valve – ease it open, and make sure the hose doesn’t horse loose from the dump station port. It could save you a real mess!

Simple way to fill your coach battery cells
Are your coach batteries difficult to reach to fill the cells? Head off to the drug store and pick up a water bottle with an “enema” hose and fitting. Fill the water bottle with distilled water, hook up the hose with the shut off clip. Now lead the “business end” of the hose to each cell and use the shut-off to open/close the fill-up flow.

Light up your RV with Boogey Lights!
boogie(1)RV accent lighting is all the rage! Just look around the RV park! Enter Boogey Lights®! These robust, super-bright, state-of-the-art LED lights with hi-tech controller technology represent the next generation in LED lighting for RVs. The AWNING & UNDER-GLOW LIGHT KITS are specifically designed to withstand harsh operating environments. Don’t waste your money on junk! Get Boogey Lights! You can even control them with your Smart Phone! Learn more or click the video for a demonstration.

How to get better mileage in your Class A motorhome
While responding to an RV forum question on tire performance for Class A-size tires (22.5 inches), RV tire expert Roger Marble found a potentially very useful website from the Environmental Protection Agency which identifies tires that can provide better fuel economy than tires not on the list. Learn more.

Better cooking on your propane stove
Rich “The Wanderman” prefers cooking in his RV compared to in his “sticks and bricks” house, and explains why in this article. He explores the advantages and disadvantages between cooking with gas/propane or electricity. Which side are you on? Read more.

LePewDo you know your RV smells?
RVs have their own peculiar smells — some good, some not so good. In this article, Russ and Tiña De Maris explain what types of smells you can ignore (or enjoy) and what types you should pay careful attention to. Read more.

Five ways to unintentionally ruin your RV
Certified RV technician Chris Dougherty explains the top five ways he has seen through the years how RVers have unintentionally ruined their RVs. These can be avoided simply by paying attention to your unit and taking care of it. Find out how here.

rvarmorlogoimageThe last roof your RV
will ever need. Guaranteed!

“RV Armor took care of our problems and did our roof replacement while we stayed in our RV. Their service gave us great value savings and came with a lifetime, unconditional, parts and labor warranty, which is also transferable.” —Happy customer Don Fredericks. Financing available! RV Armor: The Ultimate RV Roof.

To learn more, call 1-855-782-7667 or click here.

In search of the right BBQ grill
Greg Illes is a BBQ fan and is captivated by BBQ grills, especially when RVing. He loves that charred, smoky steak or drumstick hot off the grill. So, for many years he shopped and researched, bought and owned an array of portable BBQ grills to accompany his many RV excursions. Find out what’s making him a happy griller these days.

video camera WPPlugged RV sewer holding tank: What to do
Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, explains the options in fixing a plugged up RV sewer holding tank in this short video.

New RVer asks: Just what does a “grade” sign mean?
Get out of the flat country and hit the hills, and sooner or later you’ll find a sign warning of a “steep grade,” often associated with a percentage number. Road grades seem mysterious at first, but really are simple. Learn more.

del-545This week in history
Week of April 30-May 6
Compiled by Dell Bert

1931 Empire State Building dedicated.
1933 Willie Nelson is born.
1937 Hindenburg explodes in New Jersey.
1940 John Steinbeck wins a Pulitzer for “The Grapes of Wrath.”
1945 Adolf Hitler commits suicide.
1961 Alan Shepard is the first American in space.
2011 Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. Forces.

The New TireTraker™ TT-500 with a Lifetime Warranty
The new TireTraker™ TT-500 is the most innovative & user friendly TPMS on the market with an unprecedented “Lifetime Warranty”, the only TPMS company in the industry to do so. The TT-500 features a larger, easier to read display, continuous pressure & temperature monitoring, automatic update, & monitoring up to 22 tires on your motorhome, trailer & tow vehicle from 0-232 psi ! Seven day per week sales & technical support & over 12 years of experience. List price (4 tires) $389. Our price only $289. SAVE $100! (Additional Sensors $35 each). Learn more or order. Read testimonials.

RV Clubs
Here are a couple of RV clubs from our extensive directory which you may be interested in:

Escapees RV Club.
Escapees’ mission is to provide a “total support network for RVers,” including discounts at camping destinations, mail forwarding, Escapades, short-term parking at Escapees parks and much more. More than 32,000 member-families, and more than 50 individual chapters.

Forest River Owners’ Group.
“The Forest River Owners’ Group, or FROG, is made up of over 50,000 Forest River and affiliated brand RV owners from all across the United States and Canada, dedicated to having fun and enjoying the RV lifestyle.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7_24_55 PMRV Parts
and Accessories

Give Dyers a try on your next purchase of RV parts or accessories. Large selection, great service, low prices and fast shipping. Visit our website.

Bumper sticker of the week
If you’re following me, we’re both lost.

Funny/clever business slogan
“A great place to take a leak,” Acme Radiator, Bandon, Oregon

Have you seen a funny bumper sticker or business slogan? Send it to Diane(at)

Trunk Organizer
Keep your car, SUV or RV organized with this handy organizer. Multiple compartments allow you to separate food, drinks, sports objects, tools, gadgets and work-related stuff, all stored in the same trunk yet separated. Four mesh pockets allow you to see through and easily access the frequently needed objects by making them quick to find. Folds flat to only a few inches, occupying very little space. Learn more or order.

This week’s secret phrase:  Judge Bob ruled that Bert’s goat, Crabbynapkin, ate the Honda Civic.

Upcoming RV Shows
See the recently updated list of upcoming RV shows for 2016.

Websites of the Week
We like these websites. Check ’em out. More next week.

Locate services at Interstate exits
The 2016 Next Exit is the most complete USA Interstate highway exit directory ever published for every exit of major and most minor routes. Find what’s located at upcoming exits on your route — gas, food, lodging, camping, shopping, hospitals, Wal-Marts and much more. A best-seller year after year. Learn more or order.

Good reading from 629-rv123
• Horse Thief Lake Campground
• Featured App: Watch ESPN
• Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

stepbraceScreen-shot-2014-10-03-at-2_46_34-PMHelp stabilize
and keep your RV steps safe
The RV Save-A-Step Brace is designed to be placed under RV entry steps for safety. It stabilizes the RV steps and helps keep the coach from rocking — preventing sag and wear. The brace is made of heavy-gauge steel with a 3/4″ solid metal screw thread, 1000-pound load rating and 7-5/8″ to 14″ adjustment range. Learn more or order at

rvshrinkAsk the RV Shrink
Concerns of soon-to-be new RVers

Dear RV Shrink:
We are close to making a buying decision on a new motorhome. We have studied them to death. It’s a very expensive step, and I want to make sure we do it right the first time. I have read your comments about making sure the thing fits our needs, and that we both agree on the floor plan and options. Before we make the jump, can you give us anymore input? We are extremely nervous. Any help would be greatly appreciated. —Anxious buyer in Boston

Read the Shrink’s response.

tempgun-682Temperature gun is ‘essential equipment’ for many RVers!
Just aim this non-contact IR temperature gun to measure the temperature of your refrigerator, tires, A/C output, or, heck, even your oven (and the list goes on). It turns on and begins reading the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit with one press of the trigger. A laser light aids in aiming, and can be turned on or off. Many RVers consider this essential equipment. Learn more or order at a huge discount.

mark522RV Tech Tips
from Mark Polk
Preventive maintenance
Before you take your next RV trip set some time aside to perform some simple preventive maintenance. It could be the difference between a safe and enjoyable trip and a costly, disastrous one. How does the old saying go: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Preventive maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV:
A. Based on intervals such as time or mileage.
B. Due to component, system or mechanical failure.
C. Before a problem exists.

Mark Polk is the owner of RV Education 101, the premiere source of educational DVDs about buying, maintaining and using an RV. Learn more.

youtube_logo Visit our YouTube Channel.
More than 500 great videos about RVing!

gas-738Latest fuel prices
Here are the latest U.S. average prices per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel:
Regular unleaded gasoline: $2.16 (on Apr. 25) Change from week before: Up 2 cents; Change from year before: Down 41 cents
Diesel: $2.20 (on Apr. 25) Change from week before: Up 3 cents; Change from year before: Down 61 cents

Headed to Alaska? You need the 2016 Milepost
This is THE mile-by-mile guidebook for RV or auto travelers headed to Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. First published in 1949 as a guide about traveling along the Alaska Highway, today’s Milepost includes more than 600 pictures and more than 100 maps, and details every place travelers might eat, sleep or pull off the road for scenic viewing. Learn more or order.

RV Travel Reader Pets dog and photographer - left
Do you travel with a pet? We’d love to introduce your pet(s) to fellow readers. Here’s what we need: a photo or two of Fido or Boots (or you with your pet) and a 150-200 word description of your furry friend(s) — name, breed, age, how long you have traveled together, what makes them special? Go ahead and brag about them if you wish! Do you have any tips for other RVing pet lovers about traveling with pets that you’ve learned along the way? Don’t forget to give us your name(s) and hometown. Send to Diane(at) .

Click here to see last week’s issue of RV Travel Reader Pets.

RV Stove Top Cover — Convert your RV’s stove top to a temporary food prep area
The Universal Fit Stove Top Cover provides extra counter space in your RV as well as protecting and hiding the burners when the stove isn’t in use. The rattle-free design is compatible with 3 or 4 burner stoves and will enhance and complement your RV or marine kitchen décor. Cover is made of durable 20-gauge steel with a powder-coated black finish. Learn more or order.

janet1The RV Kitchen
with Janet Groene

Blintz Breakfast
Blintz breakfast blitz.
The creamy taste of cottage cheese in an eggy crepe,  mounded with strawberry jam, is one of the great treats in Jewish cuisine. Here is a shortcut version just right for RV cooking (but not suitable for Jews during the Feast of Unleavened Bread). Get the recipe.

Check out hundreds of other recipes by Janet … and her many books at

slideout-seal656Protect your RV’s slideout
with this rubber seal lubricant
If you don’t take care of your slideout you’re asking for problems including dangerous, costly water damage. This rubber seal lubricant from Thetford prevents fading, cracking and deterioration. It cleans, conditions and shines, keeping seals flexible and protected from sunlight destruction. It is also useful on door seals and window seals. It’s a mineral oil product and also acts as a lubricant. Learn more or order.

Turning back the clock

RV television commercials 
from years past!
Take a trip back in time with this TV commercial from years ago — when shag carpet was the big deal, when the word “slideout” meant something you did getting out of the dinette and when a 30-amp hookup was science fiction.

In this 30-second commercial from 1971, you get to see Barbie’s cool new motorhome.

Check out that pop-out tent on the side — not as cool as our present day slideouts, but not bad for 45 years ago!

Click the video to play it.

tire-guage660gauge4Endorsed by Roger Marble of!
An excellent tire pressure gauge
The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge has an easy-to-read LCD display that provides pressure readings from 5-150 PSI. It’s ergonomically designed with an angled head and a rubber-coated easy-grip handle. If you forget to turn off the gauge, don’t worry, it will automatically shut off. The included lithium battery never needs to be recharged or replaced. And all this for less than $13! Learn more or order.

Chris-Guld-pic-for-RVTApp of the Week

Every traveler needs a good weather app, or two
When traveling by RV, you need to know the weather to decide many things: when to stop driving for the day – if rainstorms are coming, whether to cook out or go out, whether to plan a week or just overnight at a given location, or when to start looking for a storm shelter! Chris Guld, of Geeks on Tour, describes some great smartphone weather apps here.

… every Sunday on a live webcast from Geeks On Tour. This week learn all about how to back up your phone; and they will discuss an App of the Week. Watch live or archives of past programs.

The special offer for RV Travel readers is back! Become a member of Geeks on Tour and get a 20% discount. Click here.

Batteries last a long time!
Motion detection nightlights can
last a year on a set of batteries
When you need a nightlight when without hookups, these are great: they light only when they sense motion, shutting off after 30 seconds of no movement. They use no wires and install in less than 5 minutes. Use outdoors, too. Lights come in a 3-pack. Battery-powered nightlights that stay on full time are power hogs and don’t last long. These can last up to a year! Watch the short video for a demonstration or learn more (or order) at at a great price.

gary-736Ask the RV Doctor
The RV Doctor, Gary Bunzer, answers your questions

Adding RV batteries

Dear Gary,
I just recently purchased a used Class A Newmar coach. Where do I find out what rating of battery needs to be used for replacement? The specific gravity on the existing batteries are low and after charging, is not coming up. The batteries are weak after only 8 hours of using a very light load. They are five years old. I have no clue as to what amp-hour I should be using. —Rich W., Virginia Beach, Va.

Read Gary’s response.

Read more from Gary at the RVdoctor.comSee Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

May be required by law in some states!
Essential for hooking up to a sewer
Many states these days do not allow an RVer to simply insert a sewer hose into an RV park sewer drain without it being sealed. This soft sewer sponge ring is the answer. Simply insert your sewer hose into the sponge ring, twist it to tighten, and then insert the sponge ring into the sewer hookup for a tight seal. Learn more or order.

bob-d-med399Boondocking tips
with Bob Difley

Save propane with this water heating tip
Instead of leaving your water heater on using up propane, turn it on about 10 minutes before using and then turn it off. There will still be enough hot to warm water in the tank for most of the day for washing hands, etc. You will save propane and you won’t be annoyed by the heater turning on and off all night trying to keep the water hot.

You can find Bob Difley’s e-books on Amazon Kindle.

Easily brew a single cup of coffee
This is great for RVers! Brew a single cup of coffee without the high cost of an expensive coffee maker with the MyJo Single Cup Coffee Maker! Just fill reservoir with hot water from tea kettle, or heat water in a microwave. Assemble, place K-Cup pack in base, attach the water reservoir and pump. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.

Gadgets and Gizmos

Smart Car Charger charges your phone and tablet, and locates your car
The ZUS Smart Car Finder and USB Car Charger charges two devices at the same time and twice as fast as a normal car charger. And if you lose you car, it’ll lead you back to it. Learn more.

Desolenator enables water independence — just add sun
There are various methods of creating pure, drinkable water, but all are expensive and often not very environmentally friendly. But now this team of developers at Desolenator says they can produce the lowest cost per liter of water compared to any other available system with their mobile desalinator that runs purely on energy from the sun. And other than being able to provide clean water for billions of people around the world without pure water, this simple system is also an appealing solution for RVers who like to camp off the grid. Read more.

Perfect place to
store your lawn chairs
Here’s a great use of space for storing your lawn chairs while you’re rolling down the highway — just strap ‘em right onto your RV’s ladder. It’s quick, easy, and the chairs will be secure and out of the way. When you need them, they’re quick and easy to get to. Learn more.

laugh-667Joke of the week
Recreational Vehicles: If they’re trying to get away from it all, why are they taking it all with them? From the game Apples to Apples. Thanks, Jody!

Which state is best
for a full-time home base?
The full-time lifestyle gives you the unique opportunity to choose any state to call “home.” But there are many factors to consider; a state with the lowest state income tax is not always the best option. This guide provides a wealth of valuable information to help you select the state where you will benefit the most. Learn more or order.

rvshow-725Upcoming RV Shows
Puyallup RV Show, Today through Sunday, Puyallup, WA
Visit website

Complete list of upcoming shows in the USA and Canada. Click here.

mice-653rodent-653Keep rodents out of your RV!
The overwhelmingly positive reviews on this make it a best bet for keeping your RV rodent-free. This is the only plant-based rodent repellent registered for inside use by the EPA. It effectively repels rodents up to 100 days with a “woodsy” scent that’s pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. It’s safe around kids and pets so no safety warning is required. 98% biodegradable. Tested and endorsed by the Good Sam Club. Learn more or order.

Other rodent repellent products at Amazon.

Random RV Thought
Don’t be afraid of spoiling the food in your RV refrigerator when you are driving. If the fridge is cold before you leave it will stay plenty cold all day long even when turned off. Just turn it back on when you get to your destination.

Very handy!
Wall mount grocery bag dispenser
Mount this grocery bag dispenser on a wall or inside a shelf in your home or RV for convenient, easy access. Stores 30 plastic grocery bags. Simply tuck them into the top opening and pull them out from the wide dispensing area on the front of the holder. Durable stainless steel construction. Screws and double-sided tape included. Watch the video for a short demonstration or learn more or order at a big discount.

A key chain with several keys lost by C. Dornqwast in the Wolf River of Wisconsin was recovered a year later inside a six-pound walleye pike!

happy-camper-567Liquefy solid wastes in sewer holding tanks
Happy Campers Treatment liquefies solid waste and household tissue. It’s a natural formula that’s environmentally friendly and biodegradable, with no formaldehyde or harsh chemicals. Basically, the good bacteria overtakes the bad bacteria to eliminate odor and accelerate the natural decomposition of waste. Because it is totally organic and odor free, you won’t be embarrassed by bad odors inside or when you dump. Learn more or order at

Worth Pondering
“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” —Rita Rudner

Make your toad
or trailer happy!
If your toad or trailer could talk it would say, “Please get me a license frame like this!” So, to make that vehicle very happy you should probably go ahead and get this very cool license plate frame. Shipping is free, so there is hardly any reason not to order one, or even two. Learn more or order.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 7.42.17 PMReaders’ Birthday and Anniversary Greetings

Happy Birthday!
•April 30: To Dana from SylviaHappy Birthday, my love, and many more!
•May 6: To Mary Patricia from Clark. Happy birthday to a really special girl!!! Luv, Clark
Happy (belated) Birthday
April 25: To Diane from Dave. Happy Retirement and Birthday from your soul mate.  Retired on the 22nd and Birthday on the 25th. Love ya, Dave
•April 27: To Marty from Peteski. Happy Birthday, Hon…  I love ya mostest.
•April 28: To Steve from Fran. Happy Birthday to the best husband in the whole world.  Thanks for making my fulltime and travel dreams come true!  Next up, Alaska!  Love you forever!

Happy Anniversary!
•May 1: To Nancy from JimNan, Thanks for 23 years of fun and excitement! Love, Jim
•May 4: To Paul and Ellen from Mike and LaurenIt has been How Many Years??? Happy Camping
•May 5: To Jim B from Karen BShoulda-been 1960, made it  1990. Still “rv-ing” – you, me, Barni (the pom) & Charlituna the cat.
•May 6: To Lois from Dennis. Happy Anniversary, Lois. 27 great years and many more to come. Bunches and Bunches! Let’s go camping!
Happy (belated) Anniversary
•April 20: To Princess from Ricker. Happy Anniversary, my love.  Been a great 20 years and looking forward to many more.

Send your special someone a birthday or anniversary greeting.


RV Travel staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Assistant editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing editor: Russ De Maris. Contributing writers: Greg Illes, Bob Difley, Richard Miller, Richard Mallery, Janet Groene, Roger Marble and Julianne Crane. Office manager: Jody Allcott.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Chuck Woodbury at Chuck(at) cw501

About the editor Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for nearly three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West, and was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. His book, “The Best from Out West” is available at Woodbury’s RVing adventures have been profiled on ABC News, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and in People Magazine, USA Today and in hundreds of newspapers. Nowadays, he lives near Seattle, where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

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.

Our offices are located at 610 5th Ave. S, Suite F, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This website utilizes some advertising services. Sometimes we are paid if you click one of those links and purchase a product or service. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc . 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

This newsletter is copyright 2016 by



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Betsy Alvarez
6 years ago

WOW WOW WOW What a great newsletter. I learn so much from it. Keep up the GREAT work. I’m a happy 5th wheeler.

Ginger Anderson
6 years ago

Chuck, I look forward to your newsletter every week, I usually read it more than once during the week because of the information you provide us about our RV’s. Many thanks to you and your staff.

6 years ago

Chuck & staff,
Love the new format. Keep up the great job of keeping RV’ers up-to-date. Even though I am a Canadian RV’er, I really enjoy the articles, usually US based. I sincerely hope that on your next trip to the East coast, you make time to visit my home province, Newfoundland/Labrador

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Nels

Nels, I wanted to visit there last summer when I made it all the way from Seattle to Nova Scotia. But I just ran out of time — winter was coming fast. Exploring Newfoundland is on my bucket list. — Chuck Woodbury, editor

Bob Wexler
6 years ago

I have just read about a bunch of crappy ads.
Did I get jipped? I don’t remember seeing any ads, I seldom notice ads on the internet, except those crappy ads that pop up in the middle of the screen and block out the page you are on.

Maybe I just need to get my peripheral vision checked. I simply read the content I came for and don’t look for distractions.

This is a great site. Thanks for all the effort you put in to keep it going,


RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob Wexler

Thanks for the nice comments, Bob. We appreciate them very much. That’s why we’re putting in all this “effort” (usually fun, but occasionally a pain when the new system doesn’t work like we want). But we’re making our website and newsletter even better every week — to keep our loyal readers and new (soon-to-be-loyal) readers coming back for more great RVing information and entertainment each week (and maybe even spread the word about Thanks for reading!
P.S. Don’t bother to get your peripheral vision checked — you’re doing just fine!

D. La Barbera
6 years ago

I’m new to this site been live’n in my rv sence I retired in 2005. I love this site, lots of excelent info. keep up the good work & enjoy life .

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  D. La Barbera

Welcome! We’re “new” to this site, too! (Well, this new-and-improved version of our website and newsletter, that is.) We’ve been going strong for more than 15 years, and our website and newsletter are getting even bigger and better every week. We are glad you are along for the RVing ride! Have a great day! Diane

Dorothy Wilkins
6 years ago

I thought the phrase “I go where I am towed to” belongs to Lil Guy
Tear Drop Trailers! My Lil Guy tear drop came with the phrase printed on the rear door that encloses the kitchen.

You might want to check with them and I am sure you know how to find them at their web-site, or call 1-877-545-4897.

Diane McGovern
6 years ago

Hi, Dorothy,
Thanks for writing with your concern. After an albeit brief search on the Little Guy website, I didn’t find anything which indicated that they have trademarked the saying “I go where I am towed to.” So, I think they’re just using a phrase which is public domain. In fact, the ad in our newsletter for that license plate frame is for Amazon (big surprise!), so if you have a concern about a trademark infringement, you might want to contact the company that produces the frames. Thanks for reading our newsletters, and have a great day! Diane

6 years ago

To Ray G.
We have good internet in most places with an AT&T cellular iPad. Month to month no subscrition required.

Barbara Spade
6 years ago

I miss the surveys!

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Spade

Barbara, we’ll get them back. It may take a while. Long story. But we’re working on it.


Dr4Film ----- Richard
6 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Spade

And so do I !!!!!

Dave Graham
6 years ago

Personally, I think the basic content of the website outweighs the so called “Crappy Ads”. If Gary wants to become a Major Contributor, big enough to overcome the “Crappy Ads” then maybe these ads could be eliminated. I, for one, ignore them if they do not pertain to my RV interests. I do contribute, but not enough to request that these ads be eliminated. I like the new website and look forward to every Saturday. Thank you.

6 years ago

It takes way too long for a comment about an article to show up. If a comment is to correct an inaccurate or unsafe article, many people will have read the article in the hour or more that it takes for a comment to show up.

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  wayne

Hi Wayne. I wish we could just let the comments go through without moderation, but we can’t. Shortly after switching to our new server, we were hit by spammers from Russia. In a period of about 30 minutes, almost 700 comments came in, most for Viagra and related things. This happens to some degree all the time.

As is, I get up early and moderate comments from my home in the Seattle area (when it’s already nine or ten in the East). Diane, our assistant editor, is a night owl. I don’t know that she ever sleeps! She moderates all afternoon and evening, about every day of the week. Jody, our office manager, checks comments when she is at work, but she has a life outside RVtravel and actually takes the weekends off (what an interesting concept to me, who is always doing something related to the newsletter and website — not complaining, mind you, I love my work). So sometimes it takes a while for one of us to approve a comment. I think there is a way to allow a reader who has submitted a couple of approved comments to then comment without moderation. That would help. I’ll bring this up Tuesday at our weekly staff meeting.

Ray Gibson
6 years ago

Hi everyone!
Just a quick question – Is there no easy or inexpensive solution to the Internet reception problem while on the road? My satellite installer tells me satellite solutions are just too expensive to consider. What options do we have. Why can GM make a car that is Internet ready but we can’t get an RV to do the same? Thanks for your help! I read your newsletter every Saturday, and love the new format!!

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Ray Gibson


We’ve tried satellite — and it is way too expensive, and often way to slow. We finally settled on using an cellular “hot spot,” and for the most part, depending on the cellular provider (ours is Verizon) it works well in most of the traveled areas we hit. Cost is a factor — we chew through a lot of megs of data, have two phones, two hot spots, and spend nearly $200 a month. Of course, we could cut that cost back if we dropped back on the size of the data plan. Another possibility is investigating data available (from of all places) Walmart, which we understand in some cases is provided by Verizon.

Rick Shephard
6 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

AT&T has a hotspot that is the size of 4 credit Cards [stacked] if you are a AT&T customer it is very economical.
I am on it now and it has never fail me any place I have been and so far we have been in 19 states allover.

Gary Bouland
6 years ago

Sorry to see that this once great site is now nothing but crappy ads. Come on now, WORK AT HOME ? How is that RV related.

6 years ago
Reply to  Gary Bouland

Helps pay for this FREE subscription that’s full of great RV information.

Jann Forrest
6 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck you are absolutely right. No ads means probably no newsletter. Whatever may be a little off right now will work out. I am still finding things that I did not know was in the old format. To you and everyone else that worked so hard to get this up to current standards GOOD JOB AND THAN K YOU. I actually save the current email and go back to it mid week and find more things.

Chas. Maurice
6 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

To;Chuck W.
From: Chuck M.

Well said….period !!!

6 years ago
Reply to  Gary Bouland

“WORK AT HOME” seems totally relevant to me. My early RV dream was to travel to scenic and interesting locations in my motor HOME and earn some money along the way. I look forward to those ads!

RV Staff
6 years ago
Reply to  Cathy

Thanks, Cathy! And thanks for reading our newsletters. Have a great day! Diane

Ed & Robin
6 years ago

We just renewed our subscription with the newsletter. It has been a very informative source of information for us. We are relatively new rv-er’s and one item in particular that has helped in our trips is the Air-Tabs that we purchased last year after our first trip. Before learning about them through your advertisements we were pushed over every time a Semi passed us. Now we barely know a truck is passing. Thanks for the tip!

6 years ago

Regarding the RV that got in an accident in California, he was cited for having a Class C drivers license in his 43 foot RV. As a California resident, a non-commercial Class B is required when driving an RV over 40 foot. The big question is, was the cited individual a California resident or from a different state that does not require a Class B? No one seems to know the answer… Please advice. Thanks!

Kat Stewart
6 years ago
Reply to  Susan

I think the answer is that an RVer needs to be aware of the laws in the state where he is traveling, just as a car driver must.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
6 years ago
Reply to  Kat Stewart

Except that you are forgetting one important point when driving RV’s in other states versus your home state. That point is, your home state license is good in all 50 states as long as you have the correct class of license in your home state to drive that specific RV. It’s called reciprocity.

Glen Scofield
6 years ago

I like this new look, and I’m happily anticipating reading the vintage articles.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.