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September 4, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
It’s official. We are loving our national parks to death
By Mike Gast
he National Park Service announced last week that the 15 most popular national parks in the U.S. will set visitation records in 2021.
“It’s no secret that this summer has been one of our busiest summers ever,” said NPS chief spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles.
This summer, park managers got pretty creative in their efforts to stem the tide of vacationers parked at the gates. They instituted timed tickets for popular national parks like Glacier in Montana and Muir Woods in California, hoping to both control surging park traffic and preserve a small bit of the experience all of those visitors came for in the first place.
The reviews on the timed tickets – which were available on the Recreation.gov reservation site – were mixed. Some folks opposed to the practice of timed entry actually created a petition to fight the practice, saying it was “unfair, unnecessary and undemocratic.”
The truth is hard to hear, especially for RVers who adore these places. America’s crown jewels just don’t have enough space for the backed-up masses who want in.
RVtravel.com will sponsor the media center at the upcoming Quartzsite RV Show (Jan. 22-30 in Quartzsite, Arizona). Tony and Peggy Barthel along with Chuck Woodbury and his staff will assist the media with their articles, videos and TV reporting. The annual free show should draw unusually high media attention due to its exposure in the recent Academy Award-winning movie, “Nomadland”.
RVtravel.com’s Nanci Dixon appeared on Woodall’s Campground Magazine’s industry Outdoor Hospitality Update webcast on August 31 discussing campground crowding. RVT senior writer Mike Gast co-hosts the weekly industry program. Watch the recording.
Writers wanted: RVtravel.com is still looking for freelance writers to ramp up our news coverage. They must know RVing inside out, write well and fast, thrive on deadlines, and be highly ethical and passionate about educating (and entertaining) their readers. Excellent part-time or even full-time income potential for the right person. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Did you evacuate your home with your RV because of wildfires or Hurricane Ida? Please tell us about your experience in 250 words or less. We’d like to share some with other readers. Send to email@example.com – attach a few pics if you have any.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Escapees RV Club requiring vaccination or negative test to attend events
• RV parks in popular tourist area bombarded with baseball-sized hail. Millions of dollars in damage. See pics.
• EPA speaks out on failed DEF heads, promises relief – but when?
• All National Forests in California closed by wildfires until at least Sept. 17.
And more breaking news that affects RVers.
PLUS: Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
True! Believe it!
America’s shortest National Scenic Byway is only five miles long!
When you think of a scenic byway, you think of a beautiful drive in the countryside. You do not think of driving a busy downtown street or boulevard. Well, we have a surprise for you. Can you guess where this scenic byway is located? Oh, a hint: It’s the nation’s only nighttime scenic byway! Find out here.
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
Among this week’s highlights: Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis buys legendary game show: an RV industry insider explains why he did it. Plus, a look at the used RV market for buyers and sellers. And, as always, news highlights.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Campground neighbors too close? Create privacy with a DIY screen
• These small insect screens keep wasps and bees from colonizing your RV
• 18 things to know about avoiding collisions with an animal while driving
• A spot for a spare fuse could brighten your day
• Skip the repair shop – Do it yourself with a “how-to” notebook
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel takes a look at SylvanSport’s and Zeus’ forthcoming all-electric motorhome. Bob Grinstead, Chief Technology Officer at Zeus Electric Chassis, says, “Unmatched off-road travel, extended vehicle range, and unexpectedly high vehicle weight capacity are just a few never-before-seen features in an electric RV.” You’re going to want to check this out.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Newmar New Aire 3543 Class A Diesel Pusher
• Forest River Sabre 36BHQ Mid-room Fifth Wheel
• Northstar 600SS Pickup Camper for midsize trucks
• CrossRoads Redwood RW3951WB Fifth Wheel
• Feature Review: Which RV has the best mobile office?
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Explosion of RV popularity to continue into 2022 and beyond
By Mike Gast
This question is for all of you longtime RVers out there – Did you really think you could keep a good thing all to yourself? Anyone who has taken to the road during the last year-and-a-half knows how much the RVing landscape has changed. Gone are the days of “pull up at 4 p.m. and pick a site, any site.” If you didn’t make your camping reservations when you were at least a year younger than you are now, good luck. News last week out of the RV manufacturing industry is the best indication yet that the explosion in popularity for RVing won’t abate anytime soon. Continue reading.
Editorial: RVs are about to upend how Americans live
Publisher Chuck Woodbury sees something that most RVers may not. In the 20 years he has produced this newsletter he has observed dramatic changes in how RVers use their RVs. What he sees happening in the next 10 years could result in a dramatic change in how Americans work and live. Read his essay.
Your RV Disaster Plan: Part 1 – Ready that rig!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Hurricane Ida belted the South with wind and rain. Wildfires, seemingly without number, have whacked the West. Trucks and trains carrying hazardous materials can turn over or derail anywhere. Are you safe from “natural” or man-made disasters? As far as we can tell, probably not. But RVers can be one step ahead of some of these troubles if they prepare. Is your RV ready to shelter and carry you away from problems? It can, if you have an RV disaster plan. Continue reading this important information.
Reasons to try before you buy. Why renting an RV is a good idea
By Sharon Still
Motorhome owners commonly tell stories of how they started with a pop-up, moved to a fifth wheel within six months and are now driving a 34-foot Class A after only a few years. Whether you are brand new to RVing or a full-timer looking to make a change, starting with an RV rental so you can try it before you buy it might be the best way to go. Learn why here.
Not enough power to run your air conditioner? Think again!
When the days get sizzling hot and your 110 power is from a small portable generator or a 20-amp household hookup you’re out of luck running an air conditioner. That is, unless you have a SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible when you never could before. Read more or order at a special discount price.
Campground charges RVers based on square footage of their RV. Is this common?
Earlier this week we received this email from longtime RVtravel.com reader Einar Hansen:
“We have gotten our next year’s Seasonal Campsite Contract for 2022. They have added a new clause to it. The campground now wants the total square footage of our camper (including with the slide-out rooms open). If you are over a certain square footage you will have to pay more for your seasonal campsite besides the normal cost that goes up every year. I have two questions: Are other campgrounds doing this? And is this something new because of COVID-19 and trying to make up for lost revenue the past two seasons?”
Read the rest of Einar’s letter, then please let us know if you’ve heard of this before.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Losing cell service? Try these tips to reconnect or keep the signal
• RV service centers and stores are out of parts. Now what?
• Extend your batteries’ life with proper care
• RV sales people: Which customer service approach wins the sale?
The smallest, most brilliant cutlery organizer for your RV
It’s like this was made for RVs! Usually cutlery organizers take up entire drawers, you know those ones that spread out and take up unnecessary space. This one doesn’t do that! This small compact tray organizes your cutlery in an amazing space-saving way. It fits up to 24 pieces of cutlery, so you’re not losing any space! Check it out and order one for yourself.
How easily could you live in an RV as your only “home”?
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 old are you? Are the majority of our readers in their 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80 and better? You can probably guess, because you’re probably one of them (us). More than 3,500 of you responded. Find out the results here.
Our RV got infested with thousands of ants – a Gulliver’s Travels nightmare!
By Kate Doherty
Do you know the popular story of “Gulliver’s Travels”? As the story goes, Lemuel Gulliver, a sea captain and surgeon who explores remote regions of the world, falls asleep after a shipwreck only to be awakened to realize he had been captured and tied up by the “little people,” or the Lilliputians, who are shorter than 6 inches tall. My story here is much the same. Read Kate’s tale of horror here.
She’s on the hunt to find an RV to fit her 11 cats. Can you help her decide?
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
Our new pet vet columnist has been shopping for a suitable RV to travel with her horde of cats. (FYI, a horde of cats is referred to as a “clowder”.) Here, she lists what she’s been looking for/at, but she would also appreciate your ideas about what is a “pet-friendly” RV. Read more and help her in her search here.
How do you alert another RVer to pull off the highway, or anywhere, to check their rig?
By Gail Marsh
As we travel in our fifth wheel, my husband and I try to be friendly. We’ll happily lend a hand or a tool to help a fellow RVer. … Our problem? We need a sign. We need a unique, warning sign – preferably an easy-to-do hand signal that can be generally accepted as an urgent caution to stop and check your rig! Why? Often, as folks leave their campsite we’ll notice something amiss. … Continue reading. Do you have any suggestions for a universal warning sign?
Keep your rubber roof clean!
Camco’s Pro-Strength Rubber Roof Cleaner and Conditioner is a one-step treatment that removes black streaks, oxidation and road film buildup on your rubber roof and helps protect it from further damage. The specially formulated blend of surfactants and conditioners deep cleans and conditions, helping extend the roof’s life. Learn more or order at a great price.
Here’s a different way to “camp” without crowded campgrounds. This looks fun!
Love to travel and camp but sometimes can’t or don’t want to drag the RV along? Try “glamping” (glamorous camping). We all know about rental cabins and sometimes have even rented one so our kids and grandkids can be close but not-too-close at a campground. One of the hottest current glamping trends is yurts. Learn more about their history and some locations you can rent one.
We’re back with another monthly installment of the 10 best-selling products featured on RVtravel.com last month. How many will make the list again and how many are new? Read here to find out!
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, September 4, 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 three readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift card: Ruth Ann Foore of Toledo, Ohio, David Needham of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Greg Allen of Pasco, 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
• Ask Dave: Is it necessary to level a travel trailer?
• Good news! DEF head alternatives are coming
• Only the vaccinated are welcome at this popular Maine campground
• Campground neighbors too close? Create privacy with a DIY screen
• Ask Dave: How do I prepare a fresh water tank for use?
• RV Tire Safety: My first-ever recommendation for a tire to buy
• RV Gadget: Testing the GasStop gas safety device
• Phantom Reservations II: Are extended booking windows making it worse?
• What’s ready to fall off your RV?
• Campground and RV Park News, August 28, 2021
• Campground Crowding: Should popular campgrounds go to lottery reservation system?
and much more…
By RVTravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury
Book for newbie RVers a must-have!
If you are planning to buy your first RV or are just getting started with your first rig, this book by RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury should be a must-read. The ABCs of RVing answers important questions that newbie RVers don’t even know enough to ask! Read this, and you’ll save countless hours of research and avoid making costly rookie mistakes. Available in both Kindle and printed editions.
How would you like to win this drone?
Wow! What a great prize! This drone has a 1080 HD camera to allow you to capture high-quality video and aerial photos. Watch with your mobile device in real time as it flies. Folds into a compact package. And guess what? It could be yours!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (September 4, 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 ironing your clothes.
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.
RV Advice Facebook group. Great place to ask an RV-related question and get a quick answer.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
If you don’t say “awwwww!” out loud at the 6th photo, what is wrong with you? Click here and you’ll find yourself saying it, watch!
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club, an online resource for RVers. He is also the owner of Passport Media Creations, which has developed several RV dealer and safety training programs.
Why aren’t my leveling jacks working?
How do you check to see if the motor has gone bad on your lifting units that get the RV off of the ground? I hear power when we hit the button to lift all four but they aren’t moving. —Holly
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• LP stove and oven won’t light. Why not?
• How do I prepare a fresh water tank for use?
• Is it necessary to level a travel trailer?
• Why is a fan blowing air around inside the AC?
• Can we stabilize the steps so the trailer doesn’t rock?
The magic of road trips
By Chris Epting
I wrote this essay almost twenty years ago. Now that the kids are grown, I’ve been reflecting on the magic of road trips, especially when you have the kids along. Reading this today, I think it holds up. What do YOU do to make road trips more interesting for kids, or grandkids?
We take as many car trips as we can, to as many fun and interesting and offbeat and historical places as we can. Certainly part of it is by design, as I am frequently in the middle of writing and researching a book. But the more meaningful part of it is the shared experience and sense of adventure; the chance to live life together as a family and, of course, for my wife and I to watch as our children discover, learn, grow, and just simply find their way. Continue reading. (Included are basic rules of the road for traveling with kids and grandkids.)
NEW! Etsy product!
“Trailer Trash” decal cute for RV’s trash can
Stick this “Trailer Trash” decal (which comes in two colors, by the way) on your trash can and watch all your visitors giggle at it! Brilliant, huh? Check it out.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Nobody wants mice around; well, almost nobody. But they do show up at our homes and in our RVs, and they can do a lot of damage. Have you ever seen the damage these little fellows can cause chewing your home or RV wiring? Alas, a traditional mouse trap, while efficient, does kill the little buggers and some folks aren’t big on that, or they don’t particularly enjoy disposing of the cute little rodents with their beady popped-out eyes. Here’s a very creative and effective solution that won’t offend anyone — a simple device that traps mice and other small rodents without harming them. Learn more.
with Mike Sokol
A tale of two welder outlets, and what can go wrong
Mike gets emails and questions on his RVelecticity Facebook group every week about welding outlets and other outlets for RVs. There’s a lot of confusion out there because of so many types of outlets, especially in the U.S. Mike explains why you should hire a licensed electrician to hook up any RV outlets, and make sure they meter it properly. Never plug your RV into any newly installed outlet without carefully metering it yourself first. His thorough explanation and examples of what can go wrong are here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Emergency generator CO poisoning reminder
Just in the last few days I’ve received a ton of emails about how to connect a portable generator to your bricks-and-sticks house during a power outage. Of course, this is due to Hurricane Ida, which will have struck in full force by the time you read this on Monday.
While I’ve been covering all the electrical issues surrounding powering your house with a portable generator, CarGenerator, your RV’s built-in generator, or even a Ford F-150 PowerBoost’s generator, this JAM session will be about the dangers of CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning due to running ANY generator nearby or even inside of your house. Continue reading this important reminder.
Did you miss Mike’s Thursday RVelectricity Newsletter? Read it here. It’s packed with interesting, informative and exciting news.
Meet Mike in person at the Hershey RV Show, Sept. 15-19, in Hershey, PA. He will be speaking in the Champions Club room at 1 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. For a list of all seminars and schedules, click here.
RV Tire Safety
Do the math before you load something on your bumper!
By Roger Marble
I’ve been monitoring a forum thread about a guy who wanted to hang a 250-pound toolbox off a mount from the rear bumper of his trailer. He just didn’t understand the implications of changing the hitch load if he made such a change or the shift in tire loads between axles. Continue reading, and watch a 30-second video regarding the importance of proper trailer weight distribution.
Professional photographer says this is the best tripod for RVers
Writer Nanci Dixon was once a professional photographer and has used every type of photography equipment out there. This is the tripod she uses and says is the best for RVers. It’s lightweight, it collapses, and it can be used with a phone or big DSLR camera. Learn more here or buy one for yourself.
With Dr. Karel Carnohan
Pet First Aid. Part 1: The basic kit you should carry with you at all times
“Thank you all for your warm welcomes and great questions last week. I got quite a few questions about pet first aid: What should we have on board when we travel? Today, I look at what should definitely be in your pet’s first aid kit.” Read it here. (Note: You might want to bookmark that article or print it out. It’s like an encyclopedia of important information!)
RV Short Stop
“Trailing of the Sheep” Festival RV Short Stop
By Julianne G. Crane
Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Hailey (Sun Valley), Idaho, October 6-10, 2021, is a perfect autumn RV destination. The annual migration of sheep from their high summer pastures south to winter grazing is part of Idaho’s living history. The five-day festival highlights the people, arts, cultures and traditions of sheep ranching in Idaho and the West, according to festival organizers. There are nonstop activities scheduled in multiple venues. Continue reading.
RV Fire Safety
Develop a plan of action before a fire occurs. Review with everyone the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” rule so they know what to do when clothing is on fire.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Firearms laws guide updated for 2021
If you own a firearm, you need the 2021 updated edition of the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States. The book is always a best-seller among RVers, many of whom carry a firearm. The annual guidebook helps ensure they stay out of trouble when crossing state lines. What’s legal in one state may be a felony in another. More than 100 updates from last year. Learn more or order.
Recipe of the Day
This Mexican lasagna is a fantastic twist. It’s comfort food with a south-of-the-border twist. It tastes like tacos with all the fixings except there are noodles instead of tortillas. Lasagna can be labor intensive but using no-boil noodles takes away one step. Super flavorful, this hearty dinner is layered with black beans, corn, tomatoes with green chilies, salsa, cheese sauce, and shredded cheese. Yum!
OMG! What a brilliant idea! Get the recipe.
Museum of the Week
Sign Post Forest
Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada
If you’re driving the Alaska Highway, this is a must-stop-and-see! Tourists passing by have been bringing signposts from their hometowns since 1942, creating a literal forest of signs. Today, you’ll see more than 80,000 different sign posts from all over the world. “Incredible” is an understatement! If you don’t have a sign to bring with you, you can make one at the Visitor Information Centre. Click here to learn more.
This is one cool puzzle!
If you’re like a majority of people, you’ve done a puzzle or two (or 10) during quarantine. If you’re in need of a new one, check this one out. A vintage car with an Airstream on the beach. Puzzles don’t get much cooler – plus the sunset is beautiful! Get one for yourself here. It’s the perfect stay-at-home activity!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bella is my backup driver for my motorhome.” —Carl Patterson
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.
Free 90-day membership to the Dyrt Pro camping app. Learn more or sign up.
Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:
“Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”
How many did you find?
(We’ll explain the answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. 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.
Think being a neurosurgeon is a stressful job? Think again! Scientists at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, have found it is more stressful to be a waiter in a restaurant than to be a neurosurgeon. If you’ve ever been rude to a server, you can read about the study here. You probably won’t be rude again!
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
tabby cat. “Prince Attab, famed in Arab legend, lived in a quarter of old Baghdad named Attabiya in his honor. Here a striped silk taffeta material was woven, the streaked fabric called attabi by the Arabs after the quarter, attabi eventually being transformed into tabis in French during the Middle Ages and translated to English as tabby cloth. Tabby became a verb for “to stripe” soon after, and by 1695 the word was used to describe a brownish dark-striped or brindled tabby cat whose markings resembled the material.
Laugh of the Week
Leave with a song from the past
Here, from 1963, is Eydie Gorme’s hit single “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.”
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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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