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August 21, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Finally, Google might help you boondock … if you’re “crazy” enough
For the week of August 15-21, 2021. Click to play.
An ode to weekend campers – the “weekend warriors”
By Nanci Dixon
elcome the “weekend warriors,” those RVers and other campers who swarm our campgrounds on Saturdays and Sundays! I remember the excitement and the unmitigated joy that we had as weekend warriors. Sometimes if we were really lucky we could even squeeze in a Sunday night. I would spend all week happily getting ready for our mini trip – packing, loading the RV, starting the fridge, planning the meals…
We talk a lot about the negatives of the weekend warrior invasion in this newsletter, particularly in my Campground Crowding column: the noise, kids running all over, the campfire smoke, disrespect for the sites, overabundance of trash and, most irritating of all, the total disruption of OUR peace. It helps to remember the joy and excitement we once had as the campground crowds and the noise increases.
We are in a regional campground on a Friday afternoon watching the weekend warriors roll in. By Saturday, all 279 sites will be filled. Our RV is not our home away from home, it is our home. We are full-timers and we get to camp every night.
AS CAMP HOSTS, we meet the weekend warriors and I am struck by how many are new and totally enamored by camping. I am awed by how much work it is, too, particularly for tent campers. They come in with their cars filled to the brim with kids, tents, cabanas, sleeping bags, a roof top carrier and sometimes a trailer full of bikes. They spend hours setting up and taking down.
As I look around the campground, these weekend warriors are in small and large groups laughing, talking, eating together. They are happy to just “be away” and sit around a campfire, even in 90-degree heat. Yes, kids are running around and sometimes they run through our site. Yes, it is noisy and smoky and the generators are roaring. But these weekend warriors will be gone on Sunday afternoon, exhausted but happy. They have to return to their nine-to-five, the laundry, the unpacking… all while we will still be sitting in our camp chairs waving goodbye.
I am happy to share this little piece of heaven with them.
We stopped to talk to a couple as we were making our rounds tonight and they mentioned how much they loved the park and their memories camping here. I pointed to a site, B01, where we camped with our children for almost 20 years. The memories flooded in: the kids running around, making s’mores, cleaning their sticky little faces and hands. I remembered how important it was to relax for a few days without the pressure of house cleaning, washing clothes, mowing lawns. I remembered how golden the memories have become: to us, to our children and now to our grandchildren.
So to all you hard-working weekend warriors, welcome!
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Bad DEF sensors: The facts and the human toll
• Ready to camp with 28.5 million households? Labor Day weekend crowds could set new records
• RV in for service stolen from Camping World. Customers left hanging
• Lawsuit claims seat belt, airbag calibration defect plagues GM trucks and SUVs
• Campground Crowding: Camp host says, “There are more campers than spaces!”
• Canadian snowbird RVers eagerly await U.S. border reopening
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
Learn about a better way to book campsites by “seeing” them in 360 degrees first. PLUS: Using your phone to guide you to RV adventures. Those topics and more are on this week’s RVtravel.com podcast hosted by Scott Linden.
Just click below to learn more about what’s on the show (episode 21) 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
• Unlimited uses for coffee filters in your RV
• Avoid disaster – Tighten those valve stems correctly!
• Guidelines for RVing with pets for a safe and pawsitively fun experience
• Zoning in your brake controller for optimum trailer braking
• A truck stop makes the perfect stop, even overnight
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 Keystone CrossRoads Cruiser Aire CR28BH Fifth Wheel. He writes, “This isn’t the fanciest fifth wheel I’ve seen but it gets the job done and is relatively light. There’s also a fair amount of cargo-carrying capacity in this unit and the tanks will definitely keep you off the grid for a while.” Read more and see how one family “hacked” this RV.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2021 Grand Design Solitude 310GK series fifth wheel
• Lance Camper 1985 Travel Trailer
• Alu-Cab Canopy Pickup Camper
• 2021 NeXus Viper 25V B+ Motorhome
• Lance 960 Truck Camper
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
A volcanic eruption… of butt wipes. Oh, the horror!
By Kate Doherty
This week, the owners of Mountain View Campground in Sundance, Wyoming, experienced a volcanic eruption when more than 50 flushable wipes clogged one site’s receptacle, spewing waste and wipes that covered the ground. Not only did this affect the entire site, but it affected the manifold, causing blockage for RVers on each side of the mishap. What a crappy mess! Continue reading.
Why tow a boat to the lake when you can drive it? That’s the deal with the “Boaterhome. It’s a boat, boat trailer and truck (actually a long, stretched van) all in one. Plus, it’s a head turner. It’s guaranteed this most unusual RV will draw attention wherever it goes. Read more.
What to do if you lose your pet. Everything you need to know
Every year approximately 10 million pets are lost or stolen in the United States. That is a startling statistic! What should an RVing pet owner do if their pet goes missing? What steps should be taken if you are traveling in your RV when your pet gets lost? Good questions! Here are some answers.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• RV park’s reputation gets smashed after harsh treatment of campers
• Deer flies a problem? Try this easy trick
• Tips for Wi-Fi and cell data on the road
• As RVers are we “getting away from it all” or is the lifestyle “getting away from us”?
About how old are the tires on your RV?
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:
Do you carry a 30-amp or 50-amp extension cord in your RV? See how more than 2,000 other RVers answered.
What do RVtravel.com readers think?
A few days ago we asked our readers ”How many RVs have you owned in your life?” Of the more than 2,100 readers who responded, how many would you guess have owned three or more RVs? Was it about one-third, one-half or two-thirds of them? Find out.
Stop guessing! This water meter won’t let you overfill tanks
Kate Doherty has found a way to make sure you won’t accidentally overfill your tanks. She uses the Save A Drop P3 Water Meter to add water to her black water tank with precise measurements each time. Read more about it here, then you’ll surely want to order one for yourself.
Got enough battery to power that inverter?
If you’re considering adding an inverter to your rig, or already have one, it’s important to keep in mind the battery power you have available. Nothing can ruin a spot of boondocking quicker than killing off your “house” batteries. Replacing deep-cycle batteries is an expensive proposition, and a bit of quick math can help you prevent the problem. Read more.
A praying GPS, a marinated possum, a few bad omens… and a wonderful story
By James Swickard
It was a day most any RVer who is worth his salt would recognize. Six hours on the road, assuming the word “road” is accepted as valid terminology for lanes, rutted trails and cow paths. We had reached the ends of our proverbial ropes, maybe even at the end of the earth as we know it. Our patience was worn to the quick and we were desperately in need of a campsite for the night. This day had started to go bad early on, apparently preparing to punish us for ALL of our past sins, with what appeared to be a simple construction detour. … Yes, this is a wonderful and very funny story. Y’all oughta read it here (and y’all will shorely end up with a Southern drawl).
You’ve heard of sleepwalking, but what about sleep-driving?
We RVers spend a lot of time driving. We’ve, sadly, gotten good at “distracted driving” – settling arguments with our kids as they scream in the back seat, telling our dog to quit barking at a passing truck, ignoring a ringing cell phone when we just know it could be something IMPORTANT! Anyone who drives knows all about this. But we bet you’ve never heard of something a whole lot more dangerous – sleep driving! Driving while asleep? That’s right. Read more.ad
Harvest Hosts: Members camp free at thousands of farms, wineries and even golf courses
RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury writes: “I’ve been a member of Harvest Hosts for at least 12 years and try to take advantage of the membership as often as possible. In a day and age when RVers are squeezed into RV parks like sardines, and popular public campgrounds are increasingly booked solid, the idea of staying alone or with only a handful of others for free on a farm or alongside a vineyard is incredibly appealing.” Read more, including how to join at a discount.
Well, take a look at that! Owning this thing would be like owning a puppy – you wouldn’t get very far without people stopping you to chat every few minutes. Check this out!
The wildest multi-tool gadget…
This wild, elusive, totally unique multi-tool carabiner is perfect to keep on your key ring or backpack. When someone asks you for a screwdriver, wrench, can opener, bottle opener, cord-cutter, or ruler, tell them Sasquatch can help! Every camper and outdoor enthusiast needs one of these! It’s cool, but it will also come in handy at the campsite! Learn more or order. (Hurry, before he disappears again!)
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, August 21, 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 one reader claimed their $25 Amazon Gift Card: Donna Ziegler of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
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
• Are “phantom” campers stealing your campsite? (Most popular by far!)
• Why go big? The case for owning a king-sized RV
• Are Idaho RVers “crazy”?
• Truck & Towing Trends: 2022 Toyota Tundra “leaks” teaser images
• Still stuck with DEF sensor issues? Email Cummins and the EPA
• Campground Crowding: Wow! This reader is really angry!
• For RVers, it’s not cool: Coleman a/c fails
• Campground etiquette: PLEASE turn off that noisy generator!
• Unlimited uses for coffee filters in your RV
• RV Tire Safety: Consumer Reports on RV tires. Helpful or fear mongering?
• RV sales lot inventories – Part 2: Dealers & buyers say the RV shortages are real
• RVelectricity: The reasons for bonded and floating neutral generators
• Infrastructure bill isn’t the New Deal, but it could be a “big deal” for RVers
• Ask Dave: Why won’t the furnace burner light in our Minnie Winnie?
How would you like to win these oven mitts and potholders?
These could be yours if you’re the winner! You will want to wear the oven mitts when carrying your food to the RV park potluck! Can you imagine how cool you’ll be to your fellow campers? And if you use the potholders to serve the hot dishes, everyone will want to be your best friend! Watch out ladies — the guys will be all over you!!!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 21, 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.
Idea: Listen to the RVtravel.com podcast while waiting in a doctor’s office for your appointment.
Groove gap cleaning tool keeps bugs, dirt and grime out of windows and doors
This small, handheld groove gap cleaner cleans windows, sliding doors, shower door tracks, oven and sink gaps and more. This two-part gadget has a scraper, for scraping up debris and dirt, and a brush, for brushing it away! The elevated handle has finger grips for an easy hold. If it gets dirty, wash it with soap and water and it’s just like new. Learn more or order.
Current smoke and fire report for where you live or where you are traveling.
“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.
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.
Are you a full-timer or thinking about becoming one? Read this week’s edition of the Full-Time RVer Newsletter. Lots of good info inside!
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club, a one-stop go-to online resource for RV enthusiasts. He is also the owner of Passport Media Creations, which has developed several RV dealer and safety training programs.
Can my air conditioner filter out wildfire smoke?
We are planning to replace our air conditioner on our class B Sprinter Leisure Travel van. My question is: To what extent will an RV air conditioner help to filter out wildfire smoke? It seems to me that the air conditioner would need to be able to have a recirculation mode and a fresh air intake mode. Is there a clear choice out there for one that does a better job than others in keeping the interior relatively smoke-free? Thank you so much for your help with this! —Leslie
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Gray water tank gurgles. What’s wrong?
• Why won’t the furnace burner light in our Minnie Winnie?
• What’s the cost to repair a water-damaged floor?
• Why does the check engine light come on intermittently?
• What is the proper setup of safety chains when towing?
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Our “Mystery Products of the Day” are usually cool, but this one is really, really cool! Check it out.
Three amazing women, three amazing landmarks worth a stop
By Chris Epting
There are so many interesting and important landmarks around the country that were inspired by and/or dedicated to famed female legends. I thought I would share three of my favorites today… Continue reading about Helen Keller, Rosa Parks and Betsy Ross here.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Tiny space heater comes in handy in an RV
Chuck Woodbury has owned a tiny space heater now for 6 years, and he swears it’s one of the most useful gadgets he carries with him in his RV. It uses hardly any power and is perfect for the person who is “always cold,” or maybe just always has cold feet. Chuck uses it to keep the chill off in his bathroom. Read all about it.
Big Rig RV owners! You need this!
If you aren’t carrying the 2022 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas with you in your RV, you’re inviting trouble. 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. Even if you have a GPS, this is an important resource! Learn more or order.
With Mike Sokol
Power-hungry RVs, and appliances
I would love to see an article about exactly what you can run on a 30-amp breaker. We have a COE campground with a lot of people coming into it dragging the most beautiful mansions on wheels. They have electric hot water tanks, fridge, microwave, electric cooktops, air fryer, electric skillet, electric grill, two ACs, washer and dryer – and complain every 10 minutes because they keep tripping the 30-amp breakers. …
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Dometic 12-volt DC fridge power usage tests – Part 1
I’ve now tabulated some basic kWh usage numbers for my Dometic DMC4101 12-volt DC compressor refrigerator. This is a 10-cubic-foot RV fridge with a separate freezer and refrigerator section designed to be mounted in an RV in place of a standard 3-way fridge. … Here’s my quick table of how long this refrigerator will run from a single 100 amp-hr lithium battery in 95-degree ambient temp during the day. Read the first test results here.
RV Tire Safety
How cold does it have to be to set tire pressure correctly?
By Roger Marble
With thousands of new RV owners out there, the answer to the question of “How cold does it need to be for me to check tire inflation” continues to come up. This will be new information for some and a refresher for others.
Some people want to refer to a temperature compensation chart and go through some calculations to learn the “correct” tire inflation when it is 82 F or 62 F outside. This is not what you should do. Continue reading.
Operating an RV Park
Machelle, AJ and Jenna are on a break. Machelle’s column will be back in two weeks.
RV Short Stop
By Julianne G. Crane
The SPAM Museum honors the iconic canned meat that was first created in 1937 by George Hormel’s company in Austin, Minnesota. But, it was World War II and the need for an easily transported, shelf-staple protein that fueled SPAM’s “incredible growth around the world.” Today, with more than a dozen varieties, SPAM is on the menu in 44 countries. More than 141 million cans of “spiced ham” are sold every year. Continue reading.
Get your kicks on, well, you know how it goes…
“The Best Hits on Route 66: 100 Essential Stops on the Mother Road” is the perfect companion for anyone traveling down Route 66 or who has ever wanted to. Amy Bizzarri, a Route 66 expert, takes you on an inspiring and entertaining journey down America’s most famous favorite road. Along with fascinating history and travel inspiration, the book also includes itineraries so trip planning is a breeze. Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety
In case of fire when towing
Practice unhooking your tow vehicle as quickly as possible to avoid spreading the fire to other vehicles.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
We just love the crispiness of this buttermilk fried chicken recipe. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk tenderizes the meat and makes the final outcome very moist. Frying in a cast iron skillet is just like how Grandma used to make it. The spicy honey drizzle on top is the perfect complement to the savory chicken. Serve with crispy waffles and this meal is a dream.
We know what you’re having for dinner tonight! Who could resist this? Get the recipe.
TODAY’S SPECIAL DEALS AT AMAZON! Click here to save.
Witch Dungeon Museum
Salem, just north of Boston, is an enjoyable place to visit any time of year (but especially around Halloween). There are several museums throughout the town, but the Witch Dungeon Museum stands out. Inside you’ll find a live re-enactment of the Salem Witch Trials (in the same spot that it all actually happened), as well as a tour of the dungeon – a replicated dungeon where the condemned witches were sent. Spooky, educational, and interesting, everyone in the family will enjoy this museum. Plan your visit at the official museum website.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Dazee is our 11-year-old Pomeranian. She loves to be with us everywhere we go. She has to sit on the center console to make sure she sees everything that goes by. She loves to go camping and exploring!” —Rick Copp
DOG FOOD WARNING: The FDA says as of August 9th, more than 130 deaths and 220 illnesses in dogs were caused by the brand Midwestern Pet Foods. High levels of aflatoxin, a poisonous substance caused by molds, was found in the food. Midwestern Pet Foods has issued quite a few recalls in the last year, so it’s probably best to avoid this company altogether.
The Luci Light should be every RVers’ favorite light source
Tony Barthel recently reviewed the Luci Core light and had nothing but glowing things to say about it. He writes, “It’s a large puck with a white lens on one side and a solar panel on the other. At the bottom of the puck is a rubber cap that hides a Micro USB charging port and a button. That button toggles the light through three different brightness settings and a fourth setting that flashes the puck.” Read his review or order one for yourself here.
I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness. 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.
Add an outdoor water faucet to your RV!
This lead-free outdoor faucet is really handy. If you don’t have one, here’s a super inexpensive way to add one. No tools required and it installs in a minute (just screw it on). Brass T included with the plastic faucet, just as it’s shown in the product photo. 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.
Want to hear something punny? Okay, we need your pun-divided attention… To understand a pun, your brain’s right and left hemispheres must work together in order to understand the joke. Both the right and left sides of your brain play different roles when they process hearing a pun. This means both sides must communicate in order to understand it. There’s an interesting article about that here.
Psst: New Mexico’s state question is “Red or green?” This is a question commonly heard at restaurants. Waiters are asking which kind of sauce the customer wants served with their meal, red sauce (red chiles) or green sauce (green chiles). If you order “Christmas style” you’ll get a plate with half red and half green sauce.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
deadline. “This expression has its origin in the infamous Confederate prison camp at Andersonville during the Civil War. There the deadline was a line marked 17 feet from the camp fence. Any prisoner who crossed that line was shot dead by the guards. It seems that newspaper reporters and editors were the first to use the word in its present sense of a time when a task must be finished. They applied it to the time when a story had to be completed; if the story wasn’t in by that time, it was in effect killed or dead for that edition.
Free directory lists every make and model RV
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 your free copy.
Laugh of the Week
Thanks, Russ and Tiña De Maris, for sending this to us!
Test the RV park water before you drink it!
How pure is the water at the RV park you just entered? Is it pure enough to drink or full of contaminants? This TDS meter provides an inexpensive and convenient way to instantly check your overall water quality. Don’t risk drinking bad water! Use this hand-held device to check the condition of your water filter, too. Every RVer should have one of these! Learn more or order.
Leave with a song from the past
We lost a national treasure last week in Grammy winning singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith, who died August 13 at the age of 68 of an undisclosed cause. Here she sings the haunting “Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness” (written by John Prine) at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee, May 29, 2002. Check out her beautiful, infectious smile!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Darian Armer 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.
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