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May 22, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Electric vehicles could change the way we camp
By Mike Gast
y good friend Chuck Woodbury and I were talking recently about electric vehicles (EVs). (You may remember Chuck as the writer in this space for the past 1,000 issues!) How soon would it be, we wondered, until campground owners would be dealing with EV owners showing up, desperate to plug in for an electronic “refill” of their goofy e-car? We laughed about the possibility, in some distant future, of an electric vehicle towing its own RV.
Well, take a look at the photo above. That’s a Tesla, towing an Airstream Bambi, pulling out of a campground recently just south of San Francisco. The future, I’m afraid, has already arrived and it’s looking for a place to plug in.
There are a few visionary RV park owners out there who have already installed standalone, pay-to-plug EV charging stations at their parks, generating a bit of a cashflow from the new Green Economy. Most of the dedicated EV charging stations can “rapid charge” a car from empty to full in about an hour-and-a-half. Most EV users are just passing through, and only using campgrounds as filling stations if it’s allowed.
We have updated our free RVs: Who Makes What report, adding 32 pages with more information and an improved way to find information on specific models of RVs. Learn more below. The report is free.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Get ready to share your campgrounds this summer with 56 million other RVers!
• KOA camping report forecasts nearly 18 million campers over Memorial Day weekend
• RV review: 2021 Grand Design Imagine 2610ML Travel Trailer
• KOA opens its first campground at a truck stop!
And all the latest news that affects RVers.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
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Listen to last Sunday’s RVtravel.com podcast
Just click below to learn more about what’s on the show (episode 7) and listen. Also available on Spotify • Podbean • Amazon/Audible • Google Podcasts • Player FM • Listen Notes • iHeartRadio and Apple Podcasts.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Stop guessing! This water meter won’t let you overfill your tanks
• Tips for keeping an RV washing machine odor free
• Lube your RV’s slideout?
• Buying a rental RV – Good idea?
• Top 6 reasons to love and 6 reasons to hate RVing
2nd edition now available!
New free directory lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models
DOWNLOAD FOR FREE
How many different makes and models of RVs are there in America? RVtravel.com has the answer in a new, free, comprehensive 105-page directory that lists every U.S. manufacturer and every brand and model they make. We just added 32 pages of new information, including better ways to search quickly for details on particular models.“RVs: Who Makes What” is available free as a public service from RVtravel.com in PDF form. Learn more and/or download a free copy.
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel previews the new 2022 Pleasure-Way RECON Class B Adventure Van. He writes, “If adventure is your game and off-grid van life is a part of that, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not consider this vehicle. In fact, if you’ve been eyeing a Winnebago EKKO, perhaps you might want to look the RECON over first. They’re very different, but I suspect they appeal to the same buyer.” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2021 Palomino Solaire Ultra Lite 202RB • KZ Connect SE C221FKKSE Travel Trailer • 2021 Rockwood Mini Lite 2516S • Fleetwood Frontier diesel pushers • 2021 Venture SportTrek ST271VMB
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Campground Crowding: Millions of new RVers – Is social media ruining it all?
By Nanci Dixon
More people than ever are taking up RVing. … The result is campground crowding like never before. In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. This week we discuss a KOA report that states there will be 17.8 million households kicking off camping season over Memorial Day (U.S.) and Victoria Day (Canada), and more shocking numbers as reported by KOA. Readers discuss more ways they avoid crowded campgrounds, and some report they’ve not encountered crowded campgrounds. And be glad you don’t have to find a campsite to fit this 70′ rig! All that and much more here.
What if RVers could make suggestions directly to the industry? What would you say?
By Gail Marsh
I’ve been thinking … What if actual RVers could make suggestions directly to the RV industry, its manufacturers, and/or designers? I know what I’d suggest! It would be all about doors, and my letter would read something like this: … Continue reading, then add your suggestions to the RV industry in the comments.
Spontaneous RV road trip in the days of campground crowding
By Dave Helgeson
Nights spent in an RV these days can be in a crowded campground or somewhere less conventional. What is your preference? I recently shared how my wife and I found ourselves with nearly a three-week opening in our schedule. Our “plans” were to spontaneously hit the road in our RV without an itinerary set in stone or any advanced reservations. We ended up traveling just over 2,700 miles in our quest for sunshine and warm weather. Nights spent in the RV totaled 21. Total campground fees: $58. … Get some great ideas to avoid crowded campgrounds from Dave here.
Did we fix our truck’s scary “death wobble”? No, but here’s more information…
By Gail Marsh
It’s amazing how many of you responded to our experience with our truck’s “death wobble.” We wrote about that a couple of weeks ago. It’s obvious now that our wobble experience was not a once-in-a-lifetime fluke. Also surprising is the number of readers who experienced truck wobble in vehicles other than heavy-duty Ford trucks! We heard from Jeep, Chevy, and Ram owners who at one time or another were also forced to hang on for their lives as their respective vehicles jumped and jiggled uncontrollably beneath them. Continue reading.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Don’t make these mistakes with venomous snakes
• If you can’t answer these questions, you shouldn’t be towing
• It can’t tow an RV, but this 40,000-pound stone truck rocks
• RV Shrink: “Bean counter” wonders how much the RV lifestyle costs
Most National Park campgrounds have a 14-day limit. Should that be shortened to 7 days to accommodate more campers?
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 likely is it you will sell your present RV in 2021?
See how nearly 2,200 other RVers responded.
Shoot at me a thousand times and I may still survive. But, one scratch from me and you will find your prospects take a dive. What am I?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Working on the Road
Work camping tips from the experts
By Julie Chickery
With the boom in RV sales, there has never been a better time to try work camping. It is a great way to fund some of your RV travels while you’re exploring the country. In this week’s article, get some work camping tips from the experts. This includes where to find potential jobs, how far in advance you need to apply, and how to make your application stand out. Continue reading these great tips.
New edition published this month!
RV Camping in State Parks
Most RVers will tell you that State Parks are among the best places to camp. This brand-new guide doesn’t list every state park campground, just those that can accommodate RVs. In all, 1,644 parks in 49 states are included. Details about campgrounds, hookups, activities, nearby tourist attractions, seasons of operation and GPS locations are included. Learn more or order.
Dog is my co-pilot: Better places to stop for RVers with pets
“Dog is my co-pilot,” says the bumper sticker, and for RV travelers it’s literally true. They share our adventures, buoy our spirits and are best friends on this journey called life. Like ourselves, our four-footed traveling companions need to get out of the rig and stretch once in a while, for physical and mental health and, um, to “do their business.” But where? Scott Linden suggests many places from his 30 years of RVing long distances with dogs.
Video: “Five lessons I learned in 5 years of RVing”
Carolyn of the YouTube Channel Carolyn’s RV Life has lived on the road in an RV for five years. She’s traveled alone in 30 states and put 70,000 miles on her small Class C motorhome. In this video, she shares the top five lessons she’s learned in her travels. Watch it here.
Campground pet etiquette: Should you bark back?
By Kate Doherty
As campgrounds become more and more crowded, are new RVers less likely to practice social etiquette with their neighbors when they own incessantly barking dogs? Perhaps they were remiss and have not trained their dog(s), believing the portable pen outside their RV is adequate. Read more about pet etiquette in parks and then please participate in our poll here.
Coffee, tea, water, or other beverage will taste better in this!
Isn’t this the coolest mug/thermos you’ve ever seen? We can’t imagine a more perfect vessel for your drinks if you’re an RVer, car or truck lover! The stainless steel liner will keep your hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for two hours – no more cold coffee! If you buy this as a gift, make sure to get one for yourself too!
Motorcycle dealers facing same supply chain woes as RVs
By Mike Gast
Earlier this week, I sat in on a conference call with motorcycle dealers around the U.S. The conversation sounded very similar to the talk at a recent phone gathering of RV dealers. Motorcycle dealers are worried, too. Supply chain woes have them anticipating severe drops in inventory as the summer goes on. Just like RV dealers, they are surviving on a bloated “oversupply” of cycles that were ordered in 2020 and delivered earlier in 2021. But now, factories are having trouble getting parts and production is stalling. Sound familiar? Continue reading.
It’s amazing how fast an RV burns up!
A series of dramatic photographs and two videos from Chilliwack, British Columbia, show just how fast an RV burns up. It also underscores the need to GET OUT of your rig if it catches fire. Read more and see the photos and videos.
RVers ask: Our RV’s steps hurt our aching knees. What to do?
By Gail Marsh
Paula and Larry S. recently wrote to us with a concern. They wrote, “What do people with bad knees or legs do for better entry steps? The ones that come with campers nowadays are much better than the ones before 2019, but our camper is 2008. We need steps closer together and with a better handrail now that we are well over 65. I am sure others do too, as everyone seems to have bad knees in our age group!…” Read the rest of the letter and Gail’s suggestions here.
“My motorhome blew a front tire! Here’s what I did to avoid disaster!”
By Eric Johnson of TechnoRV.com
I had a blowout on my passenger steer tire doing 65 mph in my 2016 Tiffin Phaeton. In this article, I am going to share exactly what happened and how I was able to control the RV and safely get it off the road. You can watch a video of me explaining what happened below…. Continue reading and watch Eric’s video 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 time today, May 22, 2021. 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.
Last week 2 readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Patti Schneider of Milton, Florida, and Sumner Schachter of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
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.
Popular articles from last week
• No chips for new trucks means big bucks for used trucks
• Utah RV dealership customers say they’ve been cheated
• Canadian RVers struggling to start camping season near home
• Monster new 2021 Cadillac Escalade: Is more better for RVers?
• RV dealers can’t find RVs to sell. How it affects you
• Black tank horror story averted: Our RV almost flooded!
• Debate over Colorado community’s limit on RV camping draws in RVIA
• RVer miscalculates bridge height. Oh, not a pretty result!
• Campground Crowding: Reader blames RV Travel for crowded parks!
• Stuckey’s, an American classic, is back and tastier than ever!
• Top 6 reasons to love and 6 reasons to hate RVing
• Beat the campground reservation crunch: Camp with the animals
• Finally! A phone mount for car or RV that works and keeps us safe
• How much money can you really make work camping?
Of all the black tank treatments we’ve tried, this is the one that works!
Writer Kate Doherty and her husband have tried every black tank treatment on the market – none of them met their standards until they met Doctor Poop, who introduced them to TankTechsRx. Read all about this amazing black-tank-life-changing product here, and be sure to try it out for yourself.
How would you like to win an RC Plane?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (May 22, 2021) by 7 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.
UPDATED MAY 20 (2nd edition): “RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from RVtravel.com which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.
NEW: AAA Map of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (U.S. and Canada)
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
Great websites. Check out our favorite websites of the day! We compiled a list of (almost) all the websites we’ve ever posted, and we update it weekly.
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.
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.
RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.
Get familiar with the “Rule of Thirds”
By Mike Gast
This week, we’re going to take a look at a simple rule that photographers use to help improve the composition of their photographs. This “Rule of Thirds” deals with where you position the primary subject of your photos within the photo. Learn about this very old method used by professional photographers here.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
The RV workplace: Do you need an external computer monitor?
By Tony Barthel
How do you work from the road? We’ve probably all looked at articles about mobile internet and all the other things. But how do you set up your office while you’re traveling? As I embark on a two-month cross-country trip, this is something that’s at the forefront of my thinking…. There is more than one study of work environments that correlate the amount of computer screen size that you have with the amount of productivity you possess, as well. The larger and more square inches you have in the screen department, the better your ability to get things done. With that in mind, I began a quest for a larger amount of portable screen real estate that I could pack along for the journey. … What did Tony find to use? Read about it here, then please share your mobile office solution in the comments.
Gadget Review: Air Lift helper springs for Ram 1500
By Tony Barthel
I’ve got a saggy backside. No, no, not the one I sit on when I’m working on these stories. I’m not sure what that backside is like – it is always behind me, though. I’m talking about my truck. More specifically, my 2015 Ram 1500 pickup truck. And I’m not the only one with a Ram who is experiencing this. I found a simple and inexpensive solution that takes almost no time and makes almost no major changes to the truck. I’m talking about airbags and, more specifically, the Air Lift 60818 1000-series airbags. Continue reading this very informative review.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This seems like something we’d use pretty darn often!
From Mike Sokol
I’ve been working on a really interesting project while stuck at home for the last 15 months. Since I’ve had numerous questions about Electric Vehicles being used to tow RVs, I’ve made the pitch to several RV and EV manufacturers about giving me loaner vehicles for the next year so I can do testing, and they said YES! It’s called GoGreenRV and you’ll be seeing a lot more about this project here in the coming months. … Continuing reading this exciting news!
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Danger! Don’t swim near boat docks that have electricity!
Do I remember something you wrote about getting shocked around a boat dock? We’re getting ready for our first trip and will be staying by a lake with a lot of docks. What do I need to know to keep my family safe? —Stu
RV Tire Safety
Speed in relation to the lifespan of ST-type tires
By Roger Marble
I saw this post on an RV Advice forum: “We have ST-type tires. Do we have to run less than 65 mph? We see a lot of RVs passing us.” Read Roger’s explanation.
The Digital RVer
Google Photos will still be the best tool to manage your travel photos
By Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour
I think of Google Photos like my magic attic. I just need to toss all my photos up there and they’re automatically sorted by date and grouped by people, places and things. If I want to show someone a photo of our RV with the Grand Tetons in the background, I just search for “RV Tetons.” The results include photos from 2018 with our Roadtrek camper van as well as our two other RVs in years past. All this happens by magic since I never tagged these photos with “RV” or “Tetons.” Read more reasons why Chris loves Google Photos here.
Get ready for summer. Don’t swelter in your RV!
At RVtravel.com we don’t see too many products that we go nuts over, but the SoftStartRV is a game-changer. Here’s what it can do:
• Run one air conditioner using only a small portable generator.
• Run one air conditioner on 20-amp household current.
• Run two air conditioners (with 2 SoftStartRVs) on a 30-amp hookup.
• Run an air conditioner or two using your onboard inverter system. Read more.
Recipe of the Day
Best Chicken Fried Steak Ever
by Nancy Mair from Brownwood, TX
A great old-fashioned recipe for chicken fried steak. If you’re new to cooking, this is a great recipe to try since the directions are straightforward and use basic ingredients. The seasoned flour is what makes this recipe really good. It’s full of spices and flavor. The crust around the cube steak fries nice and crisp. Serve with or without a cream gravy for a fabulous Southern-style meal.
Do you deserve this? Yes, yes you do. Get the recipe and treat yourself!
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Fresh Peach & Cherry Cobbler • Quesadilla Burgers • Thai Tortellini Fritters • Blackened Chicken Breast With Fettuccine Alfredo • Pizza Casserole
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is JayeP. He decided on this chilly morning that he had had enough of riding in the Harley sidecar and opted for the Porsche instead. RVing and riding in the Rocky Mountains.” —Jeffrey PelotPets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
• Pippy • Woody • Blackie • Tayla and Takota • Josie
Hitch Ball Lubricant extends the life of your hitch mount!
Protect hitch balls and receivers from corrosion with this high-film strength and waterproof grease. Formulated to stay where you apply it, this lubricant reduces friction, wear, rust, water corrosion and noise. Compatible with any variety of trailer applications like receiver hitches, ball mounts, hitch balls, locks, couplers, jacks, and more. Learn more or order here.
Vintage Postcard of the Week
Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here.
Did you know there are sturgeon fish bladders in your wine? Yup. There’s also human hair in your Hot Pockets, and sheep wool grease in your cereal. Grossed out yet? Check out this list from Cheapism of secret (weird) ingredients hiding in your everyday foods.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
Squirrel. “The Greeks were impressed not so much by this bright-eyed rodent’s acrobatic performances in trees as by its bushy tail, which they believed the animal wrapped around it like a parasol when the sun was too strong. So they named the animal skiouros, ‘shadow-tail,’ from their words for shade, skia, and tail, oura, meaning shadytail, the animal that makes shade with its tail. The allusion was pleasant, poetic, but the road to our world, squirrel, proved difficult. Skiouros became sciurus in Latin and then escureul in French before going through nearly a score of English spellings and becoming the squirrel that we know today.”
Laugh of the Week
A man goes to the doctor, concerned about his wife’s hearing. The doctor says, “Go home, stand behind her and say something and tell me how close you are when she hears you.” The man goes home. His wife is cutting carrots in the kitchen. About 15 feet away he says, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” Nothing. He moves halfway toward her and repeats the same question. Nothing. Very concerned, he gets right behind her and asks again “What’s for dinner?” She turns around and says “For the THIRD time, beef stew!”
Leave with a song from the past
So many of you thanked us for bringing you ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” in issue 994 that we’re bringing the group back again this week with its 1974 mega hit “Waterloo.” It’s hard to listen to this without tapping your feet or jumping from your chair to dance! Do you know what country the group is from? Is it Australia, New Zealand, Sweden or Canada? Answer tomorrow.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RV Travel staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. News editor: Mike Gast. 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, Kate Doherty, Gail Marsh, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink 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.
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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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