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August 28, 2021
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
With Publisher Chuck Woodbury
RV awnings are reminiscent of a simpler time in America
When RVers think of awnings, most think of a sheltered area outside their RV’s front door. It’s a place to enjoy fresh air without getting soaked from the rain or burned by the sun. For many RVers, it’s also an extra room in an otherwise small living space. Some RVers go to great lengths to furnish their “awning room” with chairs, tables, a rug — all to make the space more inviting.
What this area is — if you boil it down — is the equivalent of the old front porch.
Before home air conditioning, Americans spent summer afternoons and evenings on their front porches watching the world pass by. Sitting in comfy chairs, sometimes rocking chairs, they idled away the time, waiting for their homes to cool. Neighbors, even strangers, would pass by. Some became friends. “Join us for iced tea,” the homeowners might say. They would share stories about their families and neighbors. For better or (occasionally) worse, everybody knew everyone else’s business.
Parents watched neighbors’ children grow, and the kids came to know and respect their elders. It made for a strong sense of community, where people not only knew their neighbors but watched out for them.
I remember visiting with a friend’s grandmother in her home in a tiny town in Missouri, where every house had a front porch and everyone knew everyone else. “We never lock our doors,” the woman told me. “When I go away, I come home with pie in the refrigerator that wasn’t there when I left.”
Alas, front porches began to disappear when home air conditioning came along, and the pace quickened with television and other comforts to keep people inside. Suburbs with their fenced back yards provided the final blow. It became easy, as it is today, to live for years without ever knowing one’s neighbors, much less caring about them.
AND THIS IS WHY I SAY America needs more awnings. I’m referring to RV awnings, of course. Anyone who has taken an evening walk through a campground or RV park has noticed their neighbors relaxing beneath their awnings, inviting conversation, much as people did in the old days on their front porches. “Nice RV you have there,” one might say to another. “What kind of dog is that?” another might ask. “Oh, I see you’re from Ohio. We are, too!” Etc.
And so, just as it is with the old front porch, friendships begin. Most don’t amount to anything, but occasionally a bond is made, and a friendship may last for years — all because of an awning, some idle time, and a desire to be sociable.
If you have made friends with RVers you met beneath their awning or your own, please leave a comment and tell us about it.
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Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• 50 business owners file complaint against Camping World’s Lemonis over treatment on “The Profit.”
• Campground Crowding: Should popular campgrounds go to lottery reservation system?
• RV park owner says: “Unless you’re vaccinated, you’re not staying with us!”
• Good news! DEF head alternatives are coming.
• Truck and Towing Trends: Ram announces updated ProMaster.
• Ford hits brakes, cancels plans for Bronco pickup truck.
• No chips ahoy, as trucks suffer further with semiconductor shortage.
• And yet … Good News: Things to smile about this week, August 29, 2021
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…
This week’s podcast
Can’t get a reservation? “Bots” and “ghost campers” are stealing your campsites, that’s why! + How to deal with bad neighbors
Just click below to learn more about what’s on the show (episode 22) 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
• Duct tape: The incredible universal fixer and 16 ways to use it
• Beware bungee cords!
• Road rage and RVing: Don’t be a roarin’ rager!
• Moisture under bed mattress not good. A solution
• RV dog park etiquette: The woofin’ do’s and the woofin’ don’ts
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2021 KZ RV Durango Gold 391RKQ Fifth Wheel. This is a floor plan Tony has looked at before, but a few things really make this rig stand out compared to similar options. Read today’s review to peek inside and see those differences.
Last week’s reviews:
• The Boulder™ from Colorado Teardrop Campers
• 2022 Cherokee 274BRB Bunkhouse Travel Trailer
• 2022 Jayco Eagle 321RSTS
• Grand Design Imagine XLS 22MLE (plus, read how Tony evaluates RVs he reviews, part 1)
• 2022 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25FBS Travel Trailer (and part 2 of Tony’s evaluation process)
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
“Phantom” Reservations II: Are extended booking windows making it worse?
Two weeks ago, we looked at a phenomenon called “phantom” reservations. It’s the practice by some unethical campers of making multiple reservations for the same dates at multiple campgrounds. These campers select one reservation at the last minute, and let the rest go unused. Judging from the comments on that article, unused campsites are something a lot of campers are encountering this summer. Let’s look at another possible – and less scurrilous – reason for phantom reservations … the extension of campground reservation booking windows. Continue reading. What are your thoughts on this?
Frustrating shortages continue: Broken A/C, no new units to buy and no parts for fixing
By Nanci Dixon
Our air conditioner had been working on and off for a few months. Well, actually, it hasn’t been working well since it was brand-new three years ago. But, just like taking a car to get serviced, the on/off problem stopped as soon as it was at the RV service department. I think they stared it into submission. Finally, it started making a huge clunking, grinding noise as soon as the fan was turned on. Find out what it was and what’s up with the ongoing shortages here. Feel free to chime in if you need to vent about this topic.
Working remotely from an RV: Opportunities expanding for millions
By Louis J. Finkle, Ph.D.
The number of people transitioning from home-base to a full-time RVing lifestyle is growing at a faster rate than we have seen since Hurricane Katrina left 100,000+ families in limbo. The evictions of nearly 3,000,000 American families from their rental units during 2021 will add to the COVID pandemic fallout, where thousands of citizens are surging from cities to country settings. … Read more about the rapidly expanding opportunities for working remotely here.
What’s ready to fall off your RV (literally fall off)?
By Dave Helgeson
What’s ready to fall off your RV? More specifically, what is ready to fall off from under your RV? The past two summers we have set out with our RVing friends for an extended RV trek. Both trips almost ended as soon as they started. … Find out why, and what you should check on your RV before leaving for a trip so it doesn’t happen to you, here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• The camper who did this should be thrown in jail
• Try this easy DIY trick to trap fruit flies (watch the video, it works!)
• Best 2020 vehicle for RV families? VW Atlas
• A sad warning about flimsy step stools
How old are you?
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:
Where are nearly 2,100 of our readers reading this newsletter right now? Do you think they’re in their sticks-and-bricks home or in their RV? See Wednesday’s poll to find out. Then tell us where you are right now, too!
Spooktacular Halloween camping: BOOk your space before it’s gone!
By Nanci Dixon
Fall is coming with its crisp days, colorful leaves and relief from the sweltering summer heat. The changing of the season is celebrated across the country with fall festivals and Halloween events. … This year, despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19, there are many Halloween events planned across the country. Read about some of these spooktacular events here.
Wow! Corn mazes from the air! Amazing!
RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury lives near the edge of the Seattle metro area. A short ten-minute drive lands him square in farm country near the quaint little town of Snohomish. Check out these corn mazes in local fields as seen by satellite on Google Maps. You will be amazed. How do they do this? Find out and see pics.
RV sticker-mania gone wild (and win a prize)
Here’s a challenge. Find an RV with more stickers than the one posted here — or at least a LOT of stickers — take a photo and send it to us. We’ll send a $50 Amazon gift certificate to the person who submits the photo showing the most stickers! See the super-stickered RV and learn about the contest.
Collapsible salad spinner is perfect for RV kitchen
Salad spinners tend to take up a lot of precious, limited RV kitchen space. This Prepworks spinner folds down almost flat, so you can keep it nice and organized. It’s got an easy-to-use crank handle, which quickly dries lettuce or other veggies. You can use the nicely designed outer bowl as a serving dish, so you’ve got two in one, and it’s dishwasher safe. No clean up! Learn more or order.
Camping is a “piece of cake” and you’ll “sleep like a log” when you’re not “roughing it”
By Gail Marsh
So many idioms, so little time! Did you know that the English language has more than 25,000 idioms? That’s right, 25,000! … It stands to reason that camping has contributed to the great number of idioms in today’s language. Let’s take a look at just a few.
Ladies: An easy, foolproof, affordable way to color your hair while RVing
By Kate Doherty
Many of us weren’t born with the allure of Jamie Lee Curtis in her stunning “au natural” gray. It compliments her complexion. She’s lucky. Most of us aren’t. Like many of us, as my gray began to emerge, my hairstylist recommended simple highlighting. As the years ticked on and gray became more prevalent, it was time for more color, more highlights, and more often. Now I’m hooked and I can’t turn the clock back. … Read Kate’s highly recommended solution 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, August 28, 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: Darlene Getchel of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and Betty Studzinski of Georgetown, Texas.
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
• Campground Crowding: Camp host says, “There are more campers than spaces!”
• RVers stranded with bad DEF sensors. What does this mean? Are you affected?
• Ask Dave: Plugging in your RV at home
• It’s a VW van! It’s an RV! It’s a limo! It’s… well, wacky!
• RVelectricity: Power-hungry RVs, and appliances
• Porsche crashes, flips over, while towing a trailer
• Duct tape: The incredible universal fixer and 16 ways
• A praying GPS, a marinated possum, a few bad omens… and a wonderful story
• Ask Dave: Can my air conditioner filter out wildfire smoke?
Penetrating oil can save the day!
It can be a bad day on the road if you break down and need to loosen a screw or bolt and it won’t budge. Here’s help: This rust eater, deep penetrating oil will penetrate rust, scale and corrosion to free parts and assemblies instantly. It will free up rusted machine screws, bolts, nuts, clamps for mufflers and tailpipes, locks and more. You need this! Learn more.
How would you like to win a copy of the Bureau of Land Management Camping Directory?
The second edition of this popular guide includes 1,273 camping areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 14 states. RVers who “boondock” on public lands — usually far from the crowds — will find this book very useful.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 28, 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 riding shotgun on a boring road!
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.
Run your RV A/C with only 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. Don’t miss watching the short video by RV electricity expert Mike Sokol. Learn more or order at a special discount.
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.
All our lights keep going out, but our appliances work! What gives?
“Over a week ago all the interior lights including the porch light, exhaust light and exhaust fan went off. Just when my husband seems to have found the problem the fuse blows out again. All the electrical outlets work and so does bringing in the steps, microwave and refrigerator. What can be causing this? He has looked and done everything possible.” —Rosie
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Plugging in your RV at home
• Our RV’s toilet won’t hold water – Help!
• What’s the best water purification system for my RV?
• Why does water leak into camper from TV antenna?
• Water is seeping into freshwater tank when hooked up to city water
By Chris Epting
If there is a bucket list for roads, Highway 1 on the California coast must certainly place near the top of the list, if not at the number one slot. Sometimes, those of us living in California tend to take it for granted. After all, there are far more quick and efficient routes when traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But there is not another one that even approaches its grandeur and jaw-dropping beauty. Continue reading.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Testing the GasStop gas safety device
By Tony Barthel
I’m a big proponent of safety stuff, and an even bigger fan of things when they’re simple. Stuff that makes our RV life safer and better that’s also a simple solution scores big in my book. That’s the GasStop, a simple way to prevent a gas leak. But there’s more.
I bought a GasStop at the FMCA Convention in Gillette, Wyoming. The GasStop is a simple device that you put in between your RV’s portable propane tank and the regulator. It’s an easy installation. Just unscrew the tank from the regulator, screw in the GasStop, screw the regulator’s hose on and you’re done, son. Continue reading why Tony thinks this should be standard equipment on all RVs here.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
It is the season for this, and while it’s a little corny, it did make us laugh…
Welcome to the second part of my EV towing experiments. I’m covering much more in-depth on my GoGreenRV and RVelectricity Facebook groups, but here’s a quick review of what you can expect while using an Electric Vehicle to tow a small trailer. I’ll leave my practicality comments to the end, so please judge for yourself how well the EV and RV manufacturers are progressing with Electric Vehicles and RV trailers equipped for boondocking. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
“Stop dragging my chains around” – Protect 7-way plug and chains
What can I do to keep my 7-way trailer plug clean? Seems like there’s no good way to hang it that will keep the rain and dirt out of the contacts. I’ve been putting a plastic lunch bag over it with a rubber band, but that seems like a poor solution. You, of all people, must know of something better. —Belinda from Bugtussle, KY
RV Tire Safety
My first-ever recommendation for a tire to buy
By Roger Marble
If you review my blog posts and posts on various RV forums, or have even attended one of my RV tire seminars, you know I have tried to avoid making specific tire recommendations. Well, this changes today. Continue reading.
With Dr. Karel Carnohan
Introductions are in order, and please ask me your questions!
“Hello! My name is Dr. Karel Carnohan – please call me Dr. Karel! I am delighted to join the RVtravel.com team to share my thoughts and expertise about traveling with pets, general pet health and my experiences as a vet and avid RVer.”
Continue reading to meet Dr. Karel and to ask her a question about an issue your pet is currently experiencing or any general pet questions you may have.
The Digital RVer
This app lets you read historical markers without even stopping
By Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.com
From the Oregon trail in Wyoming, to George Washington’s boyhood home in the Chesapeake, we’ve driven by a lot of historical markers in our motorhome this summer. I’m always curious when I see the sign, but rarely enough to pull over. So, I use the app called “Explore Here.”… I’ve been impressed with how complete it is. Read all about it here.
Jalapeno Popper Burgers
by Nelda Carnley from Jack, AL
This burger is really good. The jalapenos really are robust and make this burger pop with flavor. Each bite has a bit of heat from the jalapenos. The ranch dressing and the cheese mixture cool things down. The bacon on top is the perfect touch. This truly is a jalapeno popper and a burger rolled into one!
Grill us up one of these, please! Get the recipe.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Outrageous Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Sauce • Drunken Grilled Peaches • Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad • Awesome Skirt Steak With Coffee Rub & Tomatoes • Grilled Citrus and Garlic Pork Chops
Mini steam iron is RV-sized!
This tiny iron will have all your clothes wrinkle-free in no time. And the best part? It fits in a drawer! This little iron heats up in 15 seconds and has 3 temperature settings for various fabric types. It’s equipped to travel anywhere in the world since it has dual voltage, and it even comes with its own travel bag. It’s a great price. Learn more or order.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Buster, half Border Collie, half the-most-ball-and-human-obsessive-dog-breed-whatever-that-is, has played ball across the entire state of Washington and is now heading onto his next adventure via road trip to central Mexico. Now he’ll just have to learn the word ‘ball’ in Spanish… ” —Lisa & David
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.
Road Atlas: Adventure Edition
As much as we love technology, we still appreciate a good physical road atlas. This highly rated National Geographic Road Atlas: Adventure Edition is certainly one to love. The atlas has up-to-date road maps for all 50 states, plus Canada and Mexico. Cities and metro areas include popular attractions and points of interest. The atlas also acts as a guidebook to National Parks and the top 100 adventure destinations. This atlas is cool! Check it out.
Imagine you are in a dark room. You’re scared and start to panic. You start to feel your way around the room but can’t distinguish any objects. How do you get out?
(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.
Only 5 percent of people wash their hands long enough to kill germs. A study from Michigan State University secretly observed 3,749 people in public restrooms and found that nearly all of them, 95 percent, did not wash their hands for a long enough time to kill germs. In order to kill germs, you must wash your hands for a total of 20 seconds. This study showed the average time people washed their hands was for six seconds. Yuck!
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
buttercup. Centuries ago English dairy farmers believed that if their cows ate the little yellow flowers that commonly grew in the meadows the butter they yielded would be colored the same rich yellow. Experience seemed to prove that this was true and so the flowers were named buttercups. Actually, the field buttercup (Ranunculus acris) did improve the quality of Bossy’s output because the flower grows only on good pasture and thus provides good feed.
(If you like this section, don’t miss Gail’s above article on camping idioms!)
Laugh of the Week
Leave with a song from the past
Rest In Peace, Charlie
Rolling Stone’s drummer Charlie Watts died last Tuesday at age 80. Here’s a little something to remember him by, one of the Stone’s most popular songs (I Can’t Get No) “Satisfaction.”
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Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
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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