Welcome to the RV Travel Newsletter, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
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October 9, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
RVers buy a motorhome for $1. Then they burn it!
Our friends Marc and Julie Bennett of RVlove.com have performed a wonderful service for RVers. They’ve produced a fascinating video that may help save many of them from the misfortune of watching their RV go up in flames.
The Bennetts conducted an experiment: They bought an RV for a dollar, and then lit it on fire. Local firefighters and a fire truck were enlisted to be there when the fire was ignited. Please take the time to watch this video. It’s important.
RVtravel.com ON THE RADIO, COAST TO COAST
We’ll have some big news for you in next week’s issue. But, here’s a little preview: RVtravel.com is now on the radio daily from coast to coast and everywhere in between. “The rest of the story” next week.
We are still looking for highly motivated writers. News writing experience a plus. We pay. No beginners (sorry). If interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Are RVers responsible for poor quality RVs?
• SpaceX Starlink for RVers: Where does it stand and when can you expect it?
• Campground Crowding: Last week’s comment sparks debate: Are we campers or travelers?
• Outdoorsy adds to its Roamly insurance product
• Surprise: Campground owners don’t want 100% occupancy. Learn why and how it affects your pocketbook.
• Investors like what they see in RV manufacturing; stock prices soar
• Canadian snowbirds find creative way to get RVs across the border despite it being closed
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…
Listen to this week’s RVtravel.com podcast
Episode 27: Save your life with Mike Sokol’s hard-won advice and horror stories about RV electrical systems. Also, who’s fooling whom when it comes to the national RV inventory … an on-the-ground report from the nation’s biggest RV show and dealer lots.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• (Road) Gators ahead!
• One very easy fix to keep mice and other freeloaders out of your RV
• Beware buying an RV with evidence of water leak
• Here’s how to better organize your RV. It’ll make a huge difference
• Truck washes could spell danger. One damaged our RV and others too.
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the 2022 Jayco Jay Flight SLX STX 184BS. Tony says this trailer is big news in a little camper, and says it’s great for a couple or as a starter RV for a small family. Click here to learn more.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Also from Clint:
The people you’ll meet, the places you’ll see… RVing still the best way to travel. Read his uplifting story.
Everything you need to know about RV insurance – You may not be in good hands
By Dave Solberg
It’s something we don’t like talking about and hope we never need – insurance for our RV. It may sound simple: Just call your home or auto coverage company and tell them what you bought and they should be able to put together a policy, right? It’s not that easy, and if you don’t get a policy designed for your type of RVing, you will pay too much and probably not have the coverage you need. Learn all about RV insurance here.
A bad hitch can leave you in the ditch – or worse
by Russ and Tiña De Maris
Many RVers have a safety checklist they go over when pulling out on the road. For some, it’s a paper checklist; others just keep it all upstairs. Tail lights working? Antenna down? Sewer port cover in place? But how about that trailer hitch? We’ve pulled Larry Lang’s story from our archives as a still-timely reminder – a bad hitch can leave you in the ditch. Learn from Larry’s scary experience here.
These are the most common ways to die in a National Park
By Nanci Dixon
My husband and I are ticking off National Parks and National Monuments from my bucket list and taking tons of pictures. When our car was too close to a buffalo on the side of the road at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the massive bull turned to look my husband in the eye, I started wondering how many people die in the National Parks. Particularly how many die from stupidly being too close to the wildlife! Get the interesting statistics here.
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Pat K. responded to our offer to help RV consumers with problems. In his 2018 Coachmen Freelander, Pat has a 4,000-watt Onan generator. Having a genset is a great help when camping, and Pat really enjoys his. Trouble is, Pat’s Onan generator conks out when he parks the rig. Read more, including Dave Solberg’s advice, here.
Easily repair a tear in your RV’s awning
Left on their own, small vinyl RV awning tears can get bigger. Fixing a small tear in an area, barring a person’s physical limitations, is easy. You may already have what you need for a fix. It’s called “RV GOOP” and is made by the same outfit that developed “GOOP” for shoe repairs. Read more about it here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Top 10 complaints RV park managers have about campers
• What is the future of RVing?
• Pay attention to passing motorists’ warnings of trouble
• What’s a Super Bugger? A VW camper conversion, of course!
Do you wish Facebook would go away and never come back?
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 plan to sell your RV within the next year? See how 1,900 other RVers responded here.
You must keep road flares in the RV for emergency
You should always have road flares in your RV in case of an emergency. This pack of three bright, waterproof and shatterproof LED disks are perfect to keep tucked away. These bright lights can be seen from a mile away and can be used for traffic control, as a warning light or as a rescue beacon, and they can also be used for recreational activities such as camping and hiking. Learn more or order here.
Airbags on cars and RVs deteriorate. What you need to know about maintaining your air ride system
By Randall Brink
If you have a newer Class C motorhome or a Class A manufactured since the mid-1980s, there is a good chance that your coach has an air ride with “air springs” as part of its suspension. The system may seem shrouded in mystery because its components are underneath the coach chassis. If everything is in good working order – out of sight and out of mind. But like all coach systems, the components are subject to wear and tear from use and should be inspected regularly. Continue reading to see if it’s something you can do yourself.
Hubby wants to buy new RV; wife wants used. What’s an RVer to do?
By Gail Marsh
How do you vote? No, I’m not talking politics here. I’m wondering about your preference: new or used? I think a lot has to do with the way you grew up. And one notion is neither right nor wrong compared to the other. … The new-or-used mindset has caused many discussions during our enduring (and endearing) marriage. I should have guessed it would eventually enter into the topic of RVs. Read more.
Camping in a “ghostly” cemetery
By Dave Helgeson
Would you stay the night in a “ghostly” cemetery, especially around Halloween? I have and will continue to do so when it meets my needs. Those of you that follow our travels know that my wife and I like to explore abandoned ghost towns and mining camps across the West. … One of our campsites was adjacent to the ghostly cemetery in the 1860s town of Candelaria, Nevada. As [a previous] article mentioned, the interred appreciated the visit, and I promised a future article. This is the promised article. (Just in time for Halloween.)
Don’t be left in the dark!
Our favorite electricity guy, Mike Sokol, uses this Caterpillar pocket light for just about everything. He writes, “I bought one of these CAT CY1000 Pocket COB Lights a few months ago and liked it so much that I also picked up one for my dad. I’ve dropped it a bunch of times, and it still keeps working, like any of the other tough-as-nails CAT products.” It easily clips onto your belt, shirt pocket, or anything magnetic, so you can work hands-free. Learn more or order.
When you buy an RV for later delivery, when do your payments begin?
That’s the question Josh the RV Nerd answers in this informative video. Do they start right away, or months later when you take delivery? It’s a good question considering so many RVers are placing orders today for RVs that will not arrive for four, five, six months … or longer. And what about when an RV is purchased but the RV is not even built yet (so no VIN number)? Watch Josh’s video here.
Washing your RV when on the road
Washing the RV while traveling can become a big issue. In the desert Southwest and in many parts of California where water is a bit on the scarce side, there are plenty of RV parks that just aren’t allowing guests to wash their rigs in the park. Most do-it-yourself car wash bays are just too small to accommodate a rig. What’s the answer? Here are some answers.
All RVers will relate to this catchy song. You’re going to love it!
This song, “I Need to Go Somewhere” by a wonderful artist, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, recently came on my Spotify radio as I was driving. I know and love Drew Holcomb, but hadn’t heard this song before. As soon as it came on I found myself cranking up the volume. Not only is it catchy, but I think it’s something we can all relate to as RVers. Watch the video and listen 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.
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, October 9, 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: Sarah Stranz of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, and Melvin Gregory of Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
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
• Ex-RV park owner has no regrets for selling: Stress was too much
• Campground Crowding: Having an RV the size of a house is NOT camping
• We just crossed into Mexico in our RV – and it was easy!
• Ask Dave: Is there a recommended amount of miles for wheel bearing replacement?
• RVelectricity™ – Dangerous, even deadly, RV hot-skin causes: Part 1
• RV industry leaders meet to explore improving RVers’ experiences
• RVs 10 years or older are being turned away from campgrounds. Should this be allowed?
• “Pathetic quality”: RV dealers are fed up with what manufacturers are producing
• RV Consumer Support: Readers really responded!
• New RVers opting out of lifestyle, some selling their rigs
• Absolutely DO NOT try to squeeze a 40-foot motorhome into a tent site!
• Operating an RV park: The event of the season was a huge success!
Time for awning maintenance
Chris Dougherty, Certified RV Technician, posted this tip while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor.
Awnings as a rule require very little maintenance. A clean awning is a happy awning. Any holes or tears should be addressed, if possible, to keep them from getting larger use an awning repair kit. Certain tears and holes are unrepairable, though, especially at the top seams. It may require replacement of the fabric. The arms may require a little silicone spray if they’re sticking, but usually cleaning fixes all (unless the arms are bent from wind/rain issues.)
Automatic awnings are basically the same – keep them clean. All awnings need to be secured if inclement weather approaches. Awnings will hold rainwater and should be kept in a rain-dump setting. If high winds are suspected, it’s always best to roll the awning up. Manual awnings can be secured using either commercially made or homemade stake-down kits, but high enough winds can still usually rip them up. Just a note of caution to keep in mind!
The lights around the outside of your RV are important safety devices. It is imperative that you check the lights every time you drive or tow your RV. Keep a supply of replacement bulbs in your coach tool box. While you’re at it, keep a supply of the interior bulbs in your box, too, so if one burns out you can change it quickly and stay illuminated!
Don’t let the liquids flow under the cabinets!
When an RV is built, the entire floor is completed and then the cabinets are set on top of that. If a liquid is spilled on the floor it can run under the cabinet, extending your mess! To fix this, seal the cabinet baseboard where it makes contact with hard flooring (tile or linoleum, etc.). Where the cabinet contacts the floor, run a small bead of clear or colored kitchen and bath silicone sealant along the base. This way spills will be stopped from making a mess inside the cabinet!
Finally! This incredible RVtravel.com mug can be yours!
Wow! What great news!! This RVtravel.com coffee mug not only holds your favorite beverage, it shows everyone you’re a proud RVer and a proud fan of RVtravel.com. And, as we always say, we guarantee your coffee will taste better in this. Design is on both sides. Learn more or order your very own mug!
Email us a photo of you with your mug after it arrives (email@example.com). We’ll post it!
How would you like to win these Walkie Talkies?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (October 9, 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.
Run your RV A/C with only normal household power. It’s now possible!
“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.
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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry. He is also the owner of Passport Media Creations, which has developed several RV dealer and safety training programs.
Is applying the Xtreme Versacoat HD to an RV’s roof worth it?
The roof on our new 2021 Jayco needs replacement due to an accident. Insurance will cover a new rubber roof but the repair people are suggesting Xtreme Versacoat HD, pure Polyurea. They did say nothing can be added to the roof in the future, but that it carries a 20-year warranty. I’ve heard nothing will stick to it, meaning replacing a $10 vent might mean a whole new roof. What’s your opinion on this material? Should we just patch the damaged area or replace the roof? Thanks. —Richard
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Is there a recommended amount of miles for wheel bearing replacement?
• Can a water leak be fixed without a whole new roof? Is it even worth fixing?
• What can I do about fluctuating fridge temperature?
• How do I determine my travel trailer’s R-Value?
• The RV’s awning stitching leaks. What can I do?
Don’t change the channel! Visit three famous TV sites and re-live your favorites
By Chris Epting
All over the country, but especially in California, you can add some fun to any road trip by visiting some legendary TV sites, including those that appeared in the Lone Ranger, M*A*S*H and The Andy Griffith Show. These are three of my favorites… [A little nostalgia, anyone?]
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These would look so festive hanging outside your RV! Everyone in the campground would come to admire!
with Mike Sokol
Dangerous, even deadly, RV hot-skin causes: Part 2
Last week I published Part 1 of RV hot-skin voltage causes. It does get a bit crazy from here on out, so it’s best that you totally understand the fundamentals before jumping into the deep water. Get all the fundamentals here, and maybe save your life or someone else’s.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
CPAP machine power usage
Mike answers a question from a reader regarding powering two CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines along with a refrigerator while boondocking. Tom L. wants to know if his idea is technically/electrically doable, and wonders if it would void a warranty. Read Mike’s response here.
Did you miss the latest edition of Mike’s monthly RVelectricity™ Newsletter? Lots of good stuff in Issue 39 here.
RV Tire Safety
What “size” are your tires? Part 3 – “TBR” (on Class A’s)
By Roger Marble
Finally, we move to Truck-Bus Radials aka “TBR” tires. These are seen on all the heavy trucks on the highway, and most Class A RVs. Generally, these are considered commercial-type tires and not a consumer-level product. If you have and need this type of tire, it is expected that you have a deeper level of knowledge about tires. Learn all about TBR tires here.
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.
Halloween horrors! Beware of pets and chocolate
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
Halloween and the Fourth of July are the busiest times in the veterinary ER clinic, and Halloween is just around the corner. It can be a scary and dangerous time for pets. What are some of the things you should be aware of to prevent a costly trip to the emergency clinic? Find out here.
ATTENTION DOG OWNERS: How smart is your dog? We asked RVT readers how many words their “smartest” dog can understand? Guess what percent know 200 words or more? Is it one percent, four percent or nine percent? Find out here.
Recipe of the Day
This loaded potato soup is guaranteed to warm you up on a cold night. The red potatoes add great flavoring and the seasoning is perfect. The baby bella mushrooms are an unusual addition, but we loved them. Same with the fresh onion and celery. Just added to the layers of flavor and texture in this soup. Bacon and cheese top this creamy, hearty, comforting soup perfectly!
This sounds like the perfect fall dinner! Get the recipe here.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Summer was a rescue and was 3 years old when we got her. She came to us from Georgia, and had heartworm and was abused. We nursed her through the heartworm and all of the other issues she had. She was the sweetest and most loving dog. Unfortunately, we lost her last November. She was 13.” —Ron Blair
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.
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.
Rattan Direct, a garden furniture retailer, created this fall-themed puzzle. Can you find the sun amongst the leaves and acorns? Click the photo to enlarge.
(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.
Who was the first U.S. president to ever receive a speeding ticket? It was Ulysses S. Grant. There was nothing Grant enjoyed more than a good ol’ horse race. After a busy day in the office, Grant would attend a horse race, or hop on a horse, or horse and carriage, and have a race himself. During his presidency, police officers started cracking down on horse racing because carriages had killed several people on the streets. One day, officer William West saw a horse, a carriage, and a rider riding through town so fast it took quite a bit of effort to catch up. Once caught up, Mr. West was face-to-face with none other than the United States’ 18th president. Grant was kind and paid the fine. He no longer raced horses after that. Well, within city limits at least…
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
clam chowder. “Chowder derives from the French word chaudière, stew pot, the word brought to the New World by Breton fishermen who settled the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The soup called a clam chowder is made with milk, vegetables, and clams in Maine and Massachusetts, this being the famous New England clam chowder. But in Rhode Island and as far away as New York, it is often made with water, vegetables, tomatoes and clams, this called the Manhattan clam chowder. The two schools are not at all tolerant of each other. One Maine legislator, in fact, introduced a bill making it illegal to add tomatoes to chowder within the state of Maine, the penalty being that the offender dig up a barrel of clams at high tide.”
Laugh of the Week
Leave with a song from the past
Sixty years ago: Johnny Angel
For the older readers in the crowd, here’s a trip down Memory Lane as Shelly Fabares performs her first big hit, Johnny Angel. Mama (Donna Reed) watches proudly in this scene from the Donna Reed Show.
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, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, and Sharon Still. 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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