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September 11, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Looking back to 20 years ago
By Chuck Woodbury
Twenty years ago, nearly to this day, I had planned to publish the inaugural issue of this newsletter. Then, only a few days before it was to appear, terrorists flew two hijacked passenger airliners into New York’s World Trade Center and then another into the Pentagon. The brave passengers of a fourth sacrificed their lives by forcing the plane to crash into a farm field in Pennsylvania, saving the lives of countless others.
All together, nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost. Much of the horror played out on live television.
I cancelled the issue. Nobody cared about RVing. We were all stunned and sad. And we were scared. I knew then that my life, and those of all Americans and other world citizens, would never be the same. Everyone did.
SO HERE WE ARE two decades later. No major terrorist attack has since occurred on American soil. I never would have believed that back then.
Once the debut issue of this newsletter finally appeared a few weeks later, we discussed if the terror of 9/11 had changed RVing. Indeed, it had. While RVers were as eager as ever to get back on the road, many cited new reasons. They didn’t want to get on a plane or even appear at a public gathering. They wanted safety. No terrorist would attack an RV park! I recall thinking that myself.
Today, many of us travel with an RV for similar reasons, but it’s now because of COVID, not terrorists. Then, and now, RV travel was perceived as safe. But unlike 2001 when life soon returned to “fairly” normal, today’s “normal” is far off.
One strong memory I have from 9/11 is how united we were as a country. No arguing. No taking sides. No name-calling. Democrats and Republicans, 150 of them, stood together on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and sang “God Bless America.” I watched them do it. I felt proud.
What will it take for us to unite again as a people, not as members of a political party? Hopefully, nothing resembling 9/11. In 2001, we could write on this website about any subject and have an intelligent discussion. Today, we argue. The angriest of our readers belittle other readers simply because their beliefs differ. How sad!
The video quality below is poor, but it’s worth watching. See our leaders of 2001 stand side by side singing God Bless America.
Our response to 9/11 will be debated forever. But on that day, when America came together, we were at our best — as Americans, as humans. Oh, I miss that very much!
Write for us!
RVtravel.com is looking for writers — to report news and/or write feature articles. We pay. Previous writing experience required. If interested, tell us about yourself here. Must know RVing inside-out and respect journalism as a noble cause.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• “Pathetic quality”: RV dealers are fed up with what manufacturers are producing.
• It’s out there – a DEF sensor workaround.
• Campground Crowding: Consider an email alert to confirm reservation or face stiff fees.
• RV dealers say steady price increases from manufacturers make it difficult to lock in final costs for buyers.
• 2022 Chevrolet Silverado off-road pickup announced with lots of upgrades.
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…
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. (Deadline to enter is September 15.)
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
Our own Tony Barthel shares his top picks for creative, innovative, just-plain-cool new rigs. We take an insider’s look at the newest offerings from RV builders, from all-electric to somewhat-traditional. Tony also shares advice for you next time you’re shopping for a new RV.
There’s also news and travel trends, a Forest River recall, and your feelings about holding tank gauge reliability.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Water only coming from the RV shower, not the sink. Why?
• An easy trick to keep important documents in the RV … without all the paper
• 17 useful ways to use Velcro inside and outside your RV
• This is a gadget every dumpin’ RVer needs
• P.U. Proboscis asks: Why the strong ammonia smell in the refrigerator?
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel previews the 2022 Winnebago Roam mobility-enhanced Class B. Tony gives Winnebago kudos “for making a regular production model that’s inclusive and can easily be a great daily driver or a gateway to the RV lifestyle we all enjoy so much.” Read more in today’s preview.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Wolf Pack 325PACK13 fifth wheel toy hauler
• 2022 SylvanSport GO
• Updates in the 2022 Keystone Cougar 22MLS
• 2022 Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS Black Label
• 2021 Keystone Springdale 1800BHS
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Campground owners are thriving, and there’s little incentive to change things
By Mike Gast
While 2021 has been a year of frustration for many RVers in search of an elusive open campsite, campground owners are tired … but happy. They’ve seen successive months (or even years) of full campgrounds and growing bottom lines. The bad news for RVers is that there is probably little to motivate owners to change those levels of camper frustration. Learn more.
Why go small? This time we’re looking at the case for owning a small RV
By Tony Barthel
Recently Mike Sherman, full-time RVer and Honorary Correspondent at RVtravel.com, made a very good case for the reasons to go big and have a larger RV. I saw that and, as a small trailer enthusiast, I wanted to share my thoughts for why I think small trailers have the advantage.
Your RV Disaster Plan, Part 2: Prepare yourself!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In Part 1 of this story, Your RV Disaster Plan, we talked about how to prepare your RV for use in a disaster. In our concluding part, let’s cover the more personal aspects of disaster preparedness. Read this important information before you need it.
Readers answer: How do you let another RVer know they need to stop to check their rig?
By Gail Marsh
Last week I wrote an article asking readers to tell us how they signal to another RVer that s/he must stop to attend to an issue with their rig. I mentioned our difficulty in getting the attention of someone when on the road. The article also demonstrated the difficulty of communicating just why the other RVer should stop. Once again, our readers came through with some interesting stories of their own as well as some suggestions for “universal warning signals.” Here are a few.
Here, in a two-minute video, are a few dozen of the hundreds of photos the readers of RVtravel.com have submitted of their dogs. This is Volume One. We’ll be back with volumes two, three, four and … well, who knows how many more? And coming soon: Volume One of our readers’ cats. Watch the video here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Idaho brothers debut campers in a box for pickup trucks
• So did they want a motorhome or a fifth wheel? Don’t try this at home!
• Casino Camping, September 12, 2020
• RV travels the highway with slideout extended. Dangerous?
Couples: Would you likely keep traveling with an RV if your spouse died?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.
One of the most popular polls in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
How many hours maximum is comfortable for you to drive in one day? See how nearly 2,700 other RVers answered.
ALSO! What are RVtravel.com readers’ top reasons for stopping at a rest area? Is it to rest or take a nap? Is it to cook lunch? Is it to use the dump station? See what nearly 4,000 voters say here.
Hitch Ball Lubricant extends the life of your hitch mount!
Protect hitch balls and receivers from corrosion with this high-film strength and waterproof grease. Formulated to stay where you apply it, this lubricant reduces friction, wear, rust, water corrosion and noise. Compatible with any variety of trailer applications like receiver hitches, ball mounts, hitch balls, locks, couplers, jacks, and more. Learn more or order here.
Car generator can substitute for portable generator in emergency
An innovative product originally designed to provide power directly from vehicle engines to recreational vehicles while camping off-grid could literally be a lifesaver for those without power in storm-ravaged areas. … Continue reading for a list of advantages of the CarGenerator™ over traditional gas-powered generators.
Useful RV applications of Google Earth, Part 5: Stops and drops along the way
By Dave Helgeson
This is the fifth installment in the series on the many useful RV applications of Google Earth. … In this installment we will look at useful RV applications of Google Earth to find places to safely stop and drop an RV along a route. If you are like me, you enjoy stopping to see the sights along the way to your chosen campsite for the evening. However, knowing there is a space large enough to safely park your RV where you would like to stop can be challenging. Learn how to find those spots here.
A veterinarian’s warning: Beware popular dog toys!
Read about the distressing experience of our Pet Vet, Karel Carnohan, DVM, with her dog, Mango. And learn from this story so your pet, and you, don’t have to go through what they did! Read all about Mango here.
The meaning of “Stay the course” – and why it’s so important in today’s world
By Gail Marsh
Here we go again! COVID seems to be resurging. Again. Annual fall festivals are opting out for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. In our vicinity, schools along with several stores are closing down. Again. It may be the death knell for some of the smaller mom-and-pop places that were able to squeeze by during previous pandemic spikes. They may not be so lucky this time. My heart goes out to them. My heart also goes out to everyone else as we stare ahead, trying to catch a glimpse of what the future brings. Didn’t we just go through all of this? Several times? It’s tempting to give up, but then I remember one of my friend’s favorite sayings: “Stay the course.” Continue reading this uplifting and helpful message.
Roll-up, stick-on TVs are coming. RVers, get excited!
By Kate Doherty
Everywhere today, advertising bombards us with organic this and organic that. But organic television? In our not-so-distant future, this technological advance will change the way RVers watch television. Available today, the most popular model of OLED TV rolls up and down, remaining out of sight until use. You no longer stare at a black screen taking up space in your RV, regardless of location. Read on, there’s more to come.
A cozy gift for your favorite RVer!
These adorable trailer-themed slippers are just what your favorite RVer needs to get them through the winter months. They’re ultra-soft, warm, and comfortable and have nonslip soles so you won’t slip and slide across your RV’s floors. They come in two sizes S/M and L/XL so every foot will be happy! Check ’em out here.
If you ever wanted to relive the glory years of the 1970s and have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, your ship may have just come in. Well, your RV. Worldwide Auctioneers listed one of three “Camelot Cruiser” fifth wheel rigs ever built and it’s a time machine to what opulence was in the early 1970s. Yes. Including an avocado green toilet and a JCPenny “Pinto” CB radio. Check this out!
6 apple festivals across the country you’ll want to visit this fall
By Gail Marsh
It’s September! Are you itching to embark on a beautiful autumn RV trip? So are we! But what’s a beautiful RV trip without a stop or two at some apple festivals? We’ve got some cider-iffic places for you to visit. Take a look!
Tour a new Thor gasser motorhome. For camping? Nope. For living!
[In this post] is a promotional video from Thor about its 2022 Windsport Class A motorhomes — 29-foot to 34-foot models. It’s hard to imagine this was designed for camping. Well, it wasn’t. It was imagined by designers who wanted to include every creature comfort. It was designed for living. Fishing poles optional. Continue reading and watch the video. Could you live in this motorhome? Tell us in the comments.
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 11, 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 card: Claire Dial of Modesto, California, and Theresa Howell of Rose City, Michigan.
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
• Attention, attention! How do you let another RVer know that they need to stop and check their rig?
• Campground Crowding: “The point is to be in nature, not crowds!”
• Truck Review: 2021 Honda Ridgeline could be last
• Severe storm damages camps & RVs in Black Hills. Hail damage is scary!
• Campground and RV Park News, September 4, 2021
• Ask Dave: Is my RV’s water pressure low because the regulator is plugged up?
• 2022 Ford Maverick by the numbers: $20k, 40 mpg, 500-mile range
• Drive the nation’s shortest, lighted scenic byway
• Water only coming from the RV shower, not the sink. Why?
• Ask Dave: How do I adjust the RV door deadbolt so it works?
• An easy trick to keep important documents in the RV … without all the paper
and much more …
How would you like to win a portable 24-piece utensil set?
This set has every utensil you need to prepare an outdoor meal and comes with a handy carrying case. It’s only missing the kitchen sink!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (September 11, 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 driving home from a camping trip!
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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He is also the owner of Passport Media Creations, which has developed several RV dealer and safety training programs.
Why won’t the water heater heat water?
I went camping a week ago and the water heater fired up properly. Ten days later, in another campground, the water heater failed to produce heat. The heater portion would start up and then stop without firing up the propane. I repeated the process many times, to no avail. At the same time I tested all other propane appliances; they were all working as normal. The batteries were hooked up to a trickle charger at the campground power. If relevant, I am in a 1997 34-foot Airstream. What could be the problem? —Paul
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• How do I adjust the RV door deadbolt so it works?
• Is my RV’s water pressure low because the regulator is plugged up?
• Why does RV’s gas range only work intermittently?
• How can I repair a leaking PEX water line?
• Why won’t the RV’s slide outs come back in?
Thetford’s toilet seal isn’t crappy!
Nobody wants to talk about a yucky toilet, but nobody wants to actually have to deal with a yucky toilet either… Enter Thetford’s Toilet Seal Lube and Conditioner. It works on all RV and boat toilets and protects the seal from drying out. If your toilet’s seal dries out, it can prevent it from sealing and holding water. You don’t want that! This is one of those products you should really use, even if dealing with your toilet isn’t your all-time favorite thing to do. Check it out.
Hey, Hey! The 2021 Hershey Show is this week!
By Mike Sokol
After more than a year of being stuck behind a desk, I’m finally back out on the road doing live RVelectricty™ seminars again. I’ve already taught my seminars at the Airstream International Rally in Lebanon, TN, and the FROG (Forest River Owner’s Group) Rally in Goshen, IN. So now it’s time to do the BIG one in Hershey, PA, this week. …
Who should attend my seminars? Well, I think that everyone needs to have a good understanding of electricity, especially RV owners who could be plugging into a completely different electrical service every week. It’s not like your bricks-and-sticks house that was inspected after it was built and never moved from its foundation. Nope, by definition any RV is mobile, so it may be in a different state (with a different set of local electrical codes and inspectors) every day.
Read about the America’s Largest RV Show and Mike’s seminars HERE. He’s going to demonstrate some new tips and tricks, and also explain how a SoftStartRV™ controller works with your air conditioner(s).
Meet Mike in person at the Hershey RV Show that starts this Thursday 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.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
May the torque be with you …
I really liked the “Mike’s Gadget” in your RVelectricity™ Newsletter last week, but I can’t find a chart showing proper torque values. Please help!!! —Larry the DIY Guy
Read Mike’s answer (with charts).
Prevent crumbs or trash from falling through the seat cracks!
This is one brilliant product! The Drop Stop, the car seat gap filler, prevents anything from falling in front of, in between or behind your car or RV’s seats. It simply attaches to the seat belt catch and sits comfortably between your seat and the middle console. I think all of us here at RVtravel.com are going to go buy this 2-pack right now. How could we not?! Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
Are you qualified to drive an RV if you don’t know how to check the air in your tires?
By Roger Marble
This is a quick post on the need to know how to properly maintain your tire inflation; another personal opinion piece from this Tire Design Engineer. I recently read this question on a Facebook page: “Where do you take your motorhome to get air pressure in tires checked?”
With Karel Carnohan, DVM
To shear or not to shear (a dog’s fur)?
Dear Dr. Karel,
In the heat of summer is it better to shear off a dog’s heavy coat or leave it? While overheating is a concern, some say it protects dogs from sunburn and they will do just fine. I like to have mine (a Shih Tzu/Bichon mix) sheared down to make it easier to check for ticks. —Larry F.
What’s better for dogs, a collar or a harness?
Is it better for Fido to wear a collar or harness? Are there advantages to each depending on the breed or the size of the dog? Yup. Dr. Karel tells you which option is best for what type of dog, and even gives you a few links to explore your shopping options. Here’s what she has to say.
Cheeseburger and “Fries” Chowder
by Teresa Jacobson from New Orleans, LA
Wow! We really do think this tastes like a cheeseburger with a side of fries … only in chowder form. It’s full of rich, savory flavor with the perfect amount of seasoning. This chowder recipe is easy to prepare and cooks fast. We became instant fans of this full-flavored soup.
What a fun idea! Get the recipe here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
• Grilled Mexican Citrus Chicken
• Chicken Fettuccine With Broccoli
• Apple Turkey Meatballs
• Smoky Sweet Baby Back Chili
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.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Zoee is a sweet little 9-pound Malti-Poo. She has visited many National Parks, Monuments, and State Parks. She is a great traveler and has brought us much joy! She is two years young!” —Shirleen Smith
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.
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
A stylish product that battles humidity? Frizz? Wow! Ladies, thank us later!
First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what’s always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?
(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.
A new study of user behavior on Facebook around the 2020 election by researchers at New York University and the Université Grenoble Alpes in France has found that from August 2020 to January 2021, news publishers known for putting out misinformation got six times the amount of likes, shares and interactions on the platform as did trustworthy news sources.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
Mount Rushmore. “The colossal busts of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are carved on the face of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, but the mountain itself is named for an obscure New York lawyer who was sent to the area by businessmen eager to know if mineral rights would be a good investment there. Young Charles Rushmore, traveling all over the Black Hills, was well-liked by miners thereabouts, and one story has it that when a stranger inquired about the name of a local hill, a worker jokingly replied, ‘Why, that’s Mount Rushmore!’ The name stuck.”
Something better than duct tape? Yup.
Duct tape is the greatest thing for on-the-fly repairs of all kinds. But you may want to add Waterproofing Repair Tape to your tape deck. The manufacturer claims this stuff is so good that it’ll stick to almost anything, and it’ll do it even underwater. Read more about this handy tape here. Trust us, it’s sticky, durable, and you’ll want some for yourself.
Laugh of the Week
Easily check the tire pressure on your inner dual tires
Do you have trouble reading the tire pressure on your RV’s inner duals? This dual head tire pressure gauge with an extension steel shaft will reach where a standard gauge won’t. Be sure you know the pressure of all your tires, or risk a potentially dangerous blowout. No batteries required. Learn more or order at a discount.
Leave with a song from the past
No matter how old you are or when you grew up, here’s a masterpiece you’ll enjoy from a young Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone.”
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, 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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