Tuesday, December 5, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1007

rv travel logoWelcome to RVtravel.com, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America with more than 148,000 registered subscribers. We support a free press and believe it is essential to a democracy. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. And we’ll explore where this wonderful lifestyle is heading in our ever more complex, crowded and uncertain world. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

Page Contents

July 3, 2021
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition

From our staff to you

In honor of our celebration of Independence Day, we present this stirring tribute to America by the late, great Ray Charles. So please, sit back, turn up the volume and watch. Let this be a reminder of our great country, our great and diverse people, our precious freedoms as granted by our founders … and the limitless promise of the United States of America and, we suggest, the United Peoples of America. May we never take our freedoms for granted.

And, now, Mr. Charles, the stage is yours…

RVtravel.com is looking for a technical editor. Must know RV maintenance and repair inside out and thrive on helping others solve their problems. Good income for a motivated person who loves to write and is good at it. We’ll make you a celebrity in the RV world. Contact chuck@rvtravel.com if you are interested. This is a freelance position.

Run your RV air conditioner with a small generator
When the temperature heats up and you’re boondocking with only a small portable generator for power, you’re out of luck running an air conditioner. That is, unless you have a state-of-the-art SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible. RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury explains the product in a short new video. Watch it here or order at a special discount.

Are we worthy of your support?
At RVtravel.com we publish more than 700 newsletters a year. Approximately 30% of our funding comes from the 4 percent of readers who support us with a voluntary subscription. It’s fine if you continue to read for free, but if you believe our hard-working staff’s efforts are worth more than “free”, we humbly ask that you chip in to help us be an ever-better resource for you and other RVers. Even $10 or $15 a year is appreciated. Donate here. All major credit cards, PayPal and checks are accepted.

Your Host Scott Linden

Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast

Kendall and Jennifer Jennings, the “Dashboard Drifters,” outline their personal experiences south of the border – perils, “gringo pricing” and perks of RV living part-time in Mexico. PLUS: A new service matches up RV Park vacancies with travelers looking for a campsite. AND … Sean Lakin helps us maintain our RV roof whether rubber or fiberglass (and can we walk on them?), discusses black water mistakes we make, and offers advice on how and when to get a service appointment. AND MUCH MOREListen here.

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY PODCAST INSIDER NEWSLETTER. You’ll be the first to know about each new podcast, plus participate in contests and other promotions that you will love.

Did you miss last week’s podcast with actor Matthew McConaughey? It’s here.

Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters

How to take a hike without all the crowds…
Should you carry water in your RV tank while traveling?
Roof air conditioner leaks during a heavy rain
Defeat the slope! RV leveling tips from the experts
Don’t forget casinos for overnight stays

2nd edition now available!
New free directory lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models
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. “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’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Forest River Wildwood 27RK Travel Trailer. He writes, “Wildwood, a division of Forest River, builds trailers that walk the line between price-focused models and feature-focused models. They’re not the cheapest and they’re not the most expensive. But they do have some great features for the money – some of which are rather innovative.” Read more in today’s review.

Last week’s reviews:
Grand Design Imagine 2800BH Travel Trailer
Forest River Cherokee 284DBH
2021 Keystone Passport SL 219BH
2021 Keystone Passport GT 2870RL “flat fifth wheel”
2021 Rockwood Mini Lite 2205S Travel Trailer

Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!

Plan Your RV Trips Better than Ever!
Make your RV road trip planning easier than ever with RV Trip Wizard! See the route you’re taking, with campgrounds, gas stops and more than 57,000 points of interest. Find the best campgrounds and RV parks based on reviews by real RVers! Don’t worry about downloading any applications or applying updates. It’s all built on the web. Learn more.

Happy (almost) 4th of July! 

Road Trip: Places in the Northeast to celebrate your independence

By Chris Epting
Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite times to visit some of those places that help define the freedoms we enjoy in this country. If you’re traveling along the East Coast this summer, there are several key places that really help you appreciate what makes this country so special. Especially after what we’ve gone through in the last year, I can’t think of a better time to stop and reflect upon how the whole idea started. Continue reading.

On this patriotic weekend, the history of Old Glory is important to remember

By Kate Doherty
What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to proudly display our flag? It represents all things America. Its iconic stature has been a symbol of freedom and liberty to the rest of the world for hundreds of years. Continue reading to learn the history of our flag throughout the years.

IS YOUR RV BED UNCOMFORTABLE? Get a new mattress. Big selection at Amazon.com at great prices. Check ’em out.

Stupid RVer Tricks! Oh, what some of them do! Watch and [maybe] weep!

Did the pandemic force you into early retirement? We want to hear your story

We want to hear from you! Our question for RVtravel.com readers is this: Have you recently decided to call it quits and retire early?

Please click here and fill out the short form and tell us if the pandemic caused you to retire early. Thanks.

Campground Crowding: “The industry is taking full advantage!”

crowded campgroundsRV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly column, RVtravel.com readers discuss their experiences. This week, writer Nanci Dixon admits even she is getting tired of crowded campgrounds and unruly neighbors. One reader reports an extremely high price for a one-night stay, even after a senior discount. And another camper reports campgrounds with all campsites reserved but no one using them the majority of the week. Read more.

10 tips about how to live together full-time in an RV

Do you think you and your spouse or partner can live together 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a few hundred square feet of space? Put that way, it seems daunting. Yet thousands do so happily in an RV. Here are some tips to help your marriage (and your sanity) survive and even thrive under those conditions.

Dessert like a park ranger – no s’more wildfires!

As the summer heats up (literally), the National Park Service reminds visitors to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires, heat-related illnesses and stay safe around wildlife. With record-breaking heatwaves and drought conditions, national park rangers invite visitors to follow new insider tips and Plan Like a Park Ranger to have fun and stay safe during park visits. Read, and heed, these important tips from the NPS.

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

What’s better for you: Class C motorhome or Class B van conversion?
Slide-outs for your galley make storage a snap
How to keep your RV’s fresh water tank fresh
Full-time RVing: Learning how to “just roll with it”

Reader Poll

Do you plan to attend a fireworks celebration on July 4th?

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:
As a student, did you do better in math or reading/writing classes? See how nearly 1,800 other RVers responded.

Brain Teaser

I am an odd number. Take away a letter and I become even. What number 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.

You should consider buying a truck camper. Here’s why

By Gail Marsh
We happened to be in a Florida RV park during a big fishing tournament. Anglers from all over the United States seemed to have one thing in common: Each competitor had a slide-in truck camper. Many of these folks travel and fish for a living, so they live in their RVs much of the year. That made me wonder, with all the nice, big fifth-wheel RVs and some equally large travel trailers available, “Why would a person choose a slide-in camper over a roomier travel trailer or fifth wheel?” So, I asked. Here are some of the responses I got, and the owners’ reasoning makes good sense!

Florida RVers still have some open camping options in July

If you’re an RVer in Florida who hasn’t yet found a place to camp in the days leading up to the July 4th weekend [OK, it’s too late for that], you still have a few options according to Bobby Cornwell, director and CEO of the statewide travel planning website CampFlorida.com. Cornwell said many RV resorts across Florida still have “plenty of vacancies” for the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, and throughout the rest of July. … Cornwell said several park owners have reached out to him in recent days to report that they still have July vacancies available. Here are several of them.

The definitive guide to services along the Interstate
Since 1991, the Next Exit has been THE “go-to” directory to locate what businesses and services are at every Interstate exit in America. In this 2021 edition, learn what’s ahead, not behind you — fuel, food, campgrounds, rest areas, shopping, motels, hospitals, etc. Sometimes a GPS or smartphone isn’t best for this. Often, this is! Learn more or order.

The load mis-taken: A hilarious story on what NOT to bring RVing

By Rod Andrew
At last, I’m an expert! Virtually every issue of RV Travel teaches me something about the RV lifestyle, as experts add their advice on all of the systems and behaviors that we need to know about. A frequent topic of advice concerns the important items that we should carry with us. I nod in agreement with almost every list. Wisdom! This story will make you chuckle, if not laugh out loud!

New 2022 truckers’ atlas can be huge help to RVers with big rigs

The 2022 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas is hot off the press, barely a week old now. This is the atlas that truckers rely on to plan their routes. It helps them get “there” the fastest while avoiding roads where they could get stuck with turns too tight or bridges too low to fit through without shaving off their roofs. Continue reading this review by RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury, who has used this guide for years.

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, July 3, 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 two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Warren May of Tallahassee, Florida, and Scott Kosa of Sedro Woolley, Washington.

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

Roadside Assistance gave us the wrong tire – on purpose!

Ram trucks hurting with bad wheels, faulty cameras
Campground Crowding: State park policies holding RVers “hostage”
Defeat the slope! RV leveling tips from the experts
Part 2: The New Dynamics of Pricing Your Next Campsite
Customize your RV: Start with the lighting
Stupid, stupid towing technique. Watch short video and weep
“If the RV industry was driven by pride instead of corporate greed…”
Useful RV applications of Google Earth, Part 4: Dump stations
RVelectricity: How do I set my meter for 120 volts?
Matthew McConaughey seems to be a nice guy, even when he’s wearing just a towel
Good News: Things to smile about this week, June 27, 2021
RV Tire Safety: UV protection for RV tires

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win a set of Happy Camper Wine Glasses?

How to win

We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 3, 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.

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

Idea: Listen to the RVtravel.com podcast while traveling on a boring Interstate. Just download a few episodes to your smartphone and play through your vehicle’s radio speakers via Bluetooth! The trip will go faster!


Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires!)

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.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean?
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.

Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.

RV education you can trust from RV Education 101: Get instant access to RV Online Training.

Phone Photography Tips

Tip #9: Your flash isn’t really a flash

Welcome to Tip #9 in our series of “Getting The Most From Your Smartphone Photos.” This week, we’ll tell you why you’re seldom happy with your smartphone’s flash pics, and what you can do about it. Read more to learn a secret about your phone’s flash.


By Mike Sokol

My upcoming trip with an F-150 PowerBoost to the Airstream Rally

Under the category of “be careful what you wish for,” both of my loaner EV and Hybrid vehicles from Volkswagen and Ford are arriving in the next two weeks, so my GoGreenRV towing and generating experiments will begin soon. Here’s a brief outline of what I have planned for the next two weeks. [Editor: You won’t believe what all Mike has on his agenda! Well, unless you know him personally, that is.] And did Mike say something about powering two RVs with one Ford F-150 PowerBoost?!

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

How do I set my meter for 120 volts?

Dear Mike,
I just bought a cheap meter and want to know how to set it to check my outlet voltage. I’m paying an electrician to hook up a 30-amp outlet on my house. But I’m a little paranoid to plug my trailer into it without checking first. I asked the guy at the store and he said to set my meter to the ~200V AC scale and and that would work. Is he correct? —Diane

Mike Sokol explains, in layman’s terms, how to correctly set a volt meter to check your outlet voltage here.

You’re going to wish you had this for tomorrow. Isn’t this what we wish we could say at every party?

RV Tire Safety

Tire life – Why can’t I get a straight or consistent answer?

By Roger Marble
I’ve seen a number of posts on RV forums and Facebook asking why there are different answers to the question of when to replace tires in RV application, i.e., tire life. Some are told, “Replace at 5 years.” They may hear that as, “You will die if you drive on a 6-year-old tire.” Continue reading Roger’s explanation of what determines the length of a tire’s life.

The Digital RVer

Setting appointments in different time zones in Google Calendar

Chris Guld, Geeks on Tour, explains in step-by-step directions how to set an event or appointment in different time zones in Google Calendar. There’s also a helpful video attached. Learn more.

Recipe of the Day

4th of July Strawberries
by Neely Alexander from Chickasha, OK
These strawberries are too adorable for words. Chocolate dip strawberries are always a treat. Making them with a patriotic theme for summer is adorable and tasty. These require a little skill to dip and get the sugar right, but it’s not hard. A great project for kids to help with.

These are so festive! Get the recipe.

Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
Strawberry Shortcake Red, White & Blue Bites
Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles With Blueberry Sauce
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
Texas Peach Sangria
Slow Cooker Applesauce

 New  Our favorite RV camping guidebooks. Our staff uses these excellent books for research and on our trips.

Readers’ Pets of the Day

“Chester and Morty enjoying 4th of July in Santa Fe, NM.” —Jim and Cynthia Shute

Pets featured in this past week’s RV Daily Tips:
Penny & BambiAngus Sneezley • Tori • AxleTeddy

Pet food at Amazon. Big selection, great prices!

Are you planning to buy an RV or just getting started? Then you should be reading our Monday-Friday newsletter Beginner’s Guide to RVing. You will learn a lot! Check out yesterday’s edition.

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

Paint nick or chip on your RV? Easy fix!
Writer Nanci Dixon recently wrote about how to easily fix a paint nick or chip on your RV. The manufacturer showed her how to touch up the spot with mini automotive paintbrushes. “Merely wipe the damaged area clean, dip the paint stick in the touch-up paint, wipe off excess paint and dab the nick.” See the difference and buy the brushes here for about $10.


If you love visiting ghost towns, head to Texas. The Lone Star State has 511 ghost towns, the most in the country.

Word and Phrase Origins

From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson: 

high horse. “In the royal pageants of Medieval England nobles and others of high rank customarily rode ‘high horses,’ great chargers a hand or so taller than the average mount. Riding such a high horse naturally came to be equated with superiority and the arrogance superiority often breeds. To ride the high horse came to mean to affect arrogance or superiority, and this phrase gave us the still common to get up on one’s high horse, to scorn what we consider ‘beneath us.'”

Laugh of the Week

While fishing off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a tourist from Maine capsized his boat. Petrified, he yelled to an older gentleman standing on the shore, “Are there any gators around here?!” “Naw,” the man hollered back, “they ain’t been around for years!” Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming toward shore. Halfway there, he asked the guy, “How’d you get rid of the gators?” “We didn’t do anything,” he said. “The sharks got ’em.”

Leave with a song from the past

Wow! They don’t make songs like this anymore. Or bands. Or singers. Here, from 1942, is a young Peggy Lee with the legendary Benny Goodman and his orchestra performing “Why Don’t You Do Right.” Ya gotta love it!

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

RV Travel staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Managing editor: Mike Gast. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink and Chris Epting. Podcast host and producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

Honorary Correspondents: Loyal readers who regularly email us leads about news stories and other information and resources that aid our own news-gathering efforts.
Tom and Lois Speirs • Mike Sherman • George Bliss • Steve Barnes • Tom Hart + others who we will add later. 

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.

RVtravel.com 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 Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Editorial (all but news)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: mikegast@rvtravel.com
: Advertising@rvtravel.com

Help desk:
 Contact us.

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

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by RVtravel.com


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Larry (@guest_132768)
2 years ago

Diane (RV Travel), has the editor ever considered doing a research series on how to properly find the right RV insurance for part timers, full timers, those with a business (vlog), for Motorhomes, for trailers, toad vehicles, and so many other options and considerations?

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Larry

Hi, Larry. If you go to our homepage, rvtravel.com, and search for “RV insurance” you’ll find several articles about that topic. Or just click here: https://www.rvtravel.com/?s=RV+insurance I was going to list and link some of the articles, but there are quite a few. I think it’s basically a matter of discussing your insurance coverage needs with your insurance agent. If they don’t have the coverage you need, then shop for an insurance company that does. It’s important to be fully covered for however you use your RV. It’s better to be prepared and not need it, than to not be prepared and need it (i.e., lose potentially everything). Thanks for asking! Have a great Fourth of July! 😀 –Diane

Jeff (@guest_132720)
2 years ago

Diane @ rvtravel. If this comment is not allowed please delete it. From our staff to you. May we never take our freedoms for granted.
I believe everyone took there freedoms for granted when our freedom was taken away last year from us.

Roger V (@guest_132641)
2 years ago

Fine newsletter. Loved the Ray Charles “America” video too!

Stu Mathison (@guest_132639)
2 years ago

For a Technical writer I would suggest either or both the writers from the now defunct Motorhome and Trailer Life magazines. I think their names are Ken Freund and Jeff Johnson. When I began RV’ing, I learned a lot from both.

JGinFL (@guest_132819)
2 years ago
Reply to  Stu Mathison

X 2

Bob M (@guest_132601)
2 years ago

For $6000. you can keep the EVELO bikes.

Jeb (@guest_132624)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob M

But you save 700 bucks!

Impavid (@guest_132663)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

No, I just saved $6,000

Gordy B (@guest_132664)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeb

No, I saved over $6,700.00 dollars. I’ll just keep riding my 21 speed bike I bought used for $100.00 dollars.

Gene M (@guest_132595)
2 years ago

Just last week this newsletter touted the new “Dynamic Pricing” becoming the thing in campground use for site costs and now your very own Nancy Dixon complains about the high prices. You people can’t ride the fence for long – pick a side.

Gene M (@guest_132596)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gene M

Sorry Nanci, I misspelled your first name.

Gene M (@guest_132597)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gene M

Oops, it wasn’t Nanci, my bad.

Thomas D (@guest_132584)
2 years ago

You have to do better than that. Today’s brain teaser took a second, not more than 2.
Are you having server trouble? I don’t get rv travel a couple times a week.

Jeb (@guest_132625)
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas D

You are so right about the brain teaser. I think I solved before I finished reading the sentence. I thought maybe I’m not going senile.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Hi, Thomas. I haven’t heard anything about having server trouble, and I haven’t seen any complaints from other readers. I just looked in your account and it shows all of the newsletters for the past couple of weeks have been sent to you, so beyond that I’m not sure what it could be. Maybe they’re inadvertently going into your spam file? If you don’t get the email alert for a newsletter, for whatever reason, you can always go to our homepage at rvtravel.com and click on the current newsletter there. Anyway, I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. Have a great Fourth of July! 😀 –Diane

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