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November 13, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
The truth about RVing: It’s NOT always rosy …
By Nanci Dixon
hile I love our RVing life and being able to full-time and travel around this immense and amazingly beautiful country, there are times that it’s just plain hard, frustrating, and disgusting, i.e., not always rosy.
From renewing drivers’ licenses to battling mice and ants; the troubles of reserving a campsite to wayward, roaming coyotes; from finding a part, a mobile tech, or a SIM card, to just finding toilet paper. Even rounding up enough cell data to write this post is problematic! The AT&T text on my phone reads: “You are at the end of your 16.5 Gigs and while you still have unlimited data if you reach 22.5 Gigs it may be throttled. Wi-Fi reduces data use.” To AT&T: If I had Wi-Fi, I would be using it already. And what good is an unlimited data plan, anyway?
A couple of weeks ago, one of our readers suggested in my Campground Crowding column that it was sites like ours, RVtravel.com, that are responsible for the crowding happening in campgrounds and RV parks across the country. They thought that by always putting a rosy glow around RVing without reporting the drudgery and dirt, we were making the influx of new RVers even worse. But then there are other readers who complain that all we report on is the doom and gloom of RVing and its future.
I have a few clarifying words for everyone: RVing is not always rosy! Continue reading.
RVers evacuated yesterday from flooded Oregon RV Park
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Tillamook County, Oregon, Sheriff’s Office were busy Friday evacuating campers at the Neskowin Creek RV Resort north of Lincoln City after heavy rains caused the creek to flood the park as well as an access road and bridge. Helicopters were being used. Parts of U.S. 101 were impassable. Read more now. Other nearby campgrounds were being evacuated. We’ll update the story tomorrow.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Skyrocketing campground insurance rates could threaten the future costs of camping
• RV industry convention ends: RVers’ future is conflicted
• They scammed dozens of RV buyers – but no charges will be filed
• Storage fees while waiting for RV service? The other side of the story
• Campground Crowding: A hidden way the cost of RVing is increasing. Have you experienced this?
PLUS: Lots more RVing-related stories • Campground updates • Latest fuel prices • Stolen RV Report • Latest RV recalls • AARP Scam Report • Reader survey • and much more…
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• 14 little-known (but helpful) uses for aluminum foil
• Tips for getting a stinky RV fridge smelling new again
• Holding tank tips for the stationary RV
• A Vet’s View: “Camping is therapeutic for military veterans”
• Deep clean your RV before storing it. You’ll be so glad you did
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Outdoors RV Mountain Series Black Stone 260KVS MS. He writes, “Considering the structural and build quality of this rig along with the oversized interior features and boondocking-worthy tanks, this really is a trailer that is worthy of its ‘Outdoors’ name.” Read more and take a look around.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
State residency and tax issues: Here’s how long you can stay in a state before you have to pay state taxes
READER DAVE T. ASKS: “We’re considering spending a summer in an RV park in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan, and were wondering if there were any tax issues to consider. Do these states charge income tax on retirees who are just summer visitors?” Read full-time RVer Nanci Dixon’s answer here.
RV parks draw big money investors: Will RV parks become the new “trailer courts”?
By Andy Zipser
(We are rerunning this from last Sunday, since there was a glitch and the article wasn’t published until a few hours after the newsletter was sent out. We apologize – especially to Andy.) RV parks today are attracting big money investors, some of whom are approaching such ownership much the same as successful mobile home operators did in years past. “The customers [residents] are stuck there … They can’t afford to move the trailer,” says one park consultant. Is this the future of RV parks?” Andy has some thoughts.
Free access to federal recreation areas. Start planning now before they get booked up!
National parks and public lands are scattered around the U.S. and offer opportunities to learn more about the heritage and natural wonders of the local area. There are more than 400 designated national parks and 2,000 federal recreation areas in the U.S. If budget is a priority, here are several ways to see the parks without paying a fee at the gate. Continue reading.
Outdoorsy program offers prizes for veterans
RV peer-to-peer rental giant Outdoorsy announced this week the relaunch of its veteran’s program. To kick off the program, and in honor of Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, Outdoorsy has teamed up with Thousand Trails and veteran-led content distributor We Are The Mighty to announce its “Votes for Vets” giveaway. Votes for Vets launched on Nov. 9, with the nomination period running through Monday, Nov. 15 and three winners will be selected on Friday, Nov. 19. Learn more.
November is Native American Heritage Month. Here are some ways to honor and celebrate it
Some 13,000 years ago, long before Europeans settled in North America, sovereign societies stretched across the continent and relied on negotiated networks of alliances, treaties, trade agreements, and intermarriage. Archeologists have traced their journey from north-central Asia across a land bridge at the Bering Strait (between modern-day Alaska and Siberia). The journey continued as indigenous people occupied every parcel of land in North America. Learn much more.
We received this email from reader JXS and thought we’d share it with you. Read it, then please let us know your thoughts. Thanks!
“Every once in a while you just scratch your head and say to yourself ‘WHY?’ Such was the case when we stayed at a very nice RV park with concrete pads and recently re-paved driveways. This was indeed a 10-star RV park with extra-clean bathrooms and laundry facility. Enter two out-of-state RVers from hell.” Continue reading.
A toaster fit for an RV!
Want to keep a toaster in your RV but don’t have the space for it? This slim, compact toaster is made for RVs – it hardly takes up any space! The slots for your toast are normal width, and can even reheat and defrost foods too! It’s easy to use, and the reviews are stellar! Learn more or order one for your RV here. Happy toasting!
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When we fired up the RVtravel.com consumer support section, it didn’t take long for us to get plenty of mail. Plenty of disgruntled readers who gave definite recommendations to steer clear of buying new RVs. At the end of October we ran a story about some of their thinking. At the time we asked for feedback. When RV shopping, buy new or used? We got a mix of responses – and a plethora of reasons. Read them here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How would you describe your personality?
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:
Did you serve in the military? See how nearly 1,800 other RVers answered. Again, thank you to all veterans.
How to make your RV warm and welcoming to guests for the holidays
By Gail Marsh
It won’t be long now. Soon, out-of-town relatives and friends will descend on your home for the holidays. It’s expensive to put them up in nearby hotels, but if you don’t really have space for them inside your sticks-and-bricks home, it’s time to put that RV to an alternative use! Use your RV to accommodate your out-of-town guests. Read many great tips here.
Will a cat keep the mice out of my RV? Is it worth a try?
By Sandi Sturm
As the nights are dipping into the 40s here in the Arizona desert, creatures start looking for a warmer place to cozy up and spend the night. I just spent a couple of weeks getting rid of some crazy tiny ants. But now the guests sound like they are a little bigger. The past couple of nights I kept waking up around 3:00 a.m. to strange noises. It took a while to figure it out – like those quiz shows that play a common sound and you are to guess what it is. I was guessing heater ductwork and food bags. I was wrong. Continue reading.
Shoot off a rocket when RVing! Yes, it’s possible!
By Nanci Dixon
We were hiking the other day and stopped to talk with a couple that was just finishing up a six-mile hike. They wanted to get in shape for their next adventure – shooting off rockets! They make and retrieve their own rockets and will hike over 10 miles to get them and bring them back. That takes some training! They had just gotten a fifth wheel toy hauler so they could carry the rockets more efficiently and lay the rockets down on the bunk beds when they travel. They said it was so much better as the rockets can be seven or eight feet long. Trying to maneuver them into other vehicles was a hassle. Read more about this fun sport of rocketry.
Wildlife safety: Your dog(s) can harm wildlife and natural habitats
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
It is a wonderful image – a dog running freely in the woods with his human strolling the path, both free to enjoy the nature around them. Actually, it is a dangerous image because dogs can do much harm to wildlife if allowed to run free. Not only is it a danger to the wild animals, but it is a danger to the dog and its owner. In fact, it is illegal to allow your dog to harass wildlife. You and your dog need to practice wildlife safety. Continue reading this important message.
Wacky RVs of the Week: Planes, trains and automobiles!
By Sandi Sturm
This week’s Wacky RVs include planes, trains and automobiles. I remember traveling through the West and having that rare sighting of the Oscar Meyer hotdog mobile, but I have never seen anything as cool as these projects. Just sit back and imagine the vision these builders must have had to turn their love of planes, trains, or automobiles into usable recreation vehicles. Check ’em 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, November 13, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
Last week two readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Mark Bush of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Ali Fiddler of Reno, Nevada.
We are discontinuing the contest at the end of November. We’ll have a brand-new contest. This contest will return again after a break.
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
• Getting started: The RV nightmare continues, and my first trip was no exception
• RV parks and big money investors – the new “trailer courts”?
• RVelectricity™ – What’s missing from this pedestal? Campground pedestal safety
• Research predicts continued RVing boom in 2022, and the advent of “Revenge Travel”
• Ask Dave: Why does my RV smell like sewage after I dump the black tank?
• Residential-type vs. absorption refrigerators in an RV
• 14 little-known (but helpful) uses for aluminum foil (plus more from readers)
• Campground Crowding: Lots to debate in this one…
• My phone got me into “Siri-ous” trouble with the cops! Don’t let it happen to you
• Would you like to see these extra features in campgrounds?
• Lemon Laws (kind of) protect new and used RV buyers. This is how they REALLY work
• Letter to the editor: Why it’s important to have a plan in case of a health scare
Efficient use of closet space
Don’t have many clothes to hang in your RV closets? You can still put that space to good use by putting up hanging shelves. They’re great for lightweight items – think socks, underwear, shirts that can be folded, etc.
Tips for cooking on a gas stove
If you’re new to RVing, learning to cook on a gas stove can be a bit challenging. Compared to the average electric stove, gas burners will heat up your pots and pans much more quickly – so beware! The burners are often smaller than what you’re accustomed to, so picking up smaller cookware for the rig could be in order. But if your pot is small, don’t crank the gas flame up HIGH – bring the flame up to fit the bottom of the pan. That way you’ll save gas, and you won’t run the risk of burning the handles on the pot.
How would you like to win a Dash Camera?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 13, 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.
Excellent resource about work camping
Some RVers depend on earning income while on the RV road. This can mean working at an RV park in the office or doing maintenance or working the holiday season in an Amazon warehouse. There are literally thousands of jobs available. This guidebook will help you get started, or help you brush up your present skills and/or learn about new work opportunities.
“RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a 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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
Why does my trailer “snap, crackle and pop” on turns?
I just upgraded from a bumper pull to a Forest River Sabre 36BHQ 5th wheel. I’ve noticed a lot of popping and metal-to-metal sounds coming from the suspension on the trailer, but only during turning. It “pops and moans” whether they’re mild or sharp turns. Is there something I should be worried about? —Erik
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Why does the fresh water tank overfill when hooked to city water?
• Can I run a residential fridge on a 190w solar panel and battery?
• Why does my RV’s toilet keep running?
• All three of my RV’s drain valves are stuck. What’s the solution?
• Furnace blower doesn’t work, so where’s the warm air coming from?
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Feeling a little bored lately? How about spicing things up…
They’re the “The Greatest Rock and Roll band in the World” and you can follow in their footsteps
By Chris Epting
They first came to America in 1964, quickly becoming “accidental tourists” as they barreled around the country in station wagons, vans and small prop planes. More than a dozen tours and countless side trips later, the Rolling Stones have left their mark on hundreds of sites around the U.S. Given the fact that they are back on the road, I thought I’d take a look at some places touched by my favorite band in the world. Continue reading.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Porta-Bote: The foldable, lightweight, unsinkable boat you need for your RV
By Randall Brink
When planning for an RV trip, there are times that you would like to take along more than you can carry or tow. For example, do you pull a box trailer full of gear or a towed vehicle? If you tow a car, what about your boat? Should you hitch your boat to the back of your toad or cargo trailer? (I have seen this done – not recommended!) A company in Mountain View, CA, called Porta-Bote, has been making a solution to this dilemma for quite a few years. Learn more about this nifty and very portable boat here.
Do “solar generators” really work?
As you may know, I wasn’t enamored with the marketing hype of the so-called “solar generators” last year. In fact, I was worried that readers would confuse them with actual gasoline or propane generators, which they definitely are not.
But since I like to test everything, and Jackery now has a 1500-watt version with up to four 100-watt solar panels in a kit, I thought this was a good time to jump in with both feet and see if they live up to the hype. I also want to find out if they could be useful in boondocking or even a home power outage situation. Continue reading, and check out Mike’s “cheesy beefcake” picture! OY!
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
Baby, it’s cold inside! Monitoring RV temps
We’re full-timing in a northern state and now that it’s getting colder we worry about freezing pipes under the floor of the RV. There’s access to this compartment via an outside door, and I’m thinking about hanging a 100-watt light bulb there to keep it warm (as you’ve suggested in the past). But is there an easy way to monitor the actual temperature without running wires or opening up the door and sticking a thermometer in the compartment to check the temp. Any ideas? —Chilly Cathy
The cutest salt and pepper shakers!
You can’t deny how cute this is – it would be perfect on any RV dinette! This vintage gas station filling pump salt and paper set is so unique! This would make a great gift for anyone who loves classic cars or Route 66! We want one! Check it out here.
RV Tire Safety
Are IR thermometers good for detecting low inflation in tires?
Roger Marble recently read these comments about IR “guns” (thermometers):”I carry a heat gun with me. When I stop I check all tires. If one is a lot hotter than the rest I have a problem.” and “A cheap Harbor Freight gun is a good investment. We carry two when I tow my boat to the Keys. Each stop, my buddy and I have a gun in each door. We each shoot all four wheels then compare notes about what we got as far as readings.” Read Roger’s response to these comments here.
RV Short Stop
Thanksgiving Day parades are back
By Julianne G. Crane
Whether your family is traveling to Grandma’s house in the snow or RV snow-birding down south, dozens of cities are hosting Thanksgiving Day Parades again this year. Julianne lists several terrific Turkey Day parades around the country to enjoy here.
RV Fire Safety
Galley stove safety
Even if the flame on your galley stove goes out, gas continues to flow and could result in an explosion. A stove should never be left unattended or used to heat your coach. Open propane flames release high levels of carbon monoxide.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
A wonderful twist on chicken and dumplings. The base is creamy and full of chicken. Fresh cooked onions and celery add the flavor you expect. The touch of basil is a different, and delicious, twist. Peas give the easy casserole a pop of sweetness. The “dumpling” is like a drop biscuit that is infused with hints of basil. Once baked, the biscuit is firm but underneath is a little gooey like a traditional dumpling.
It’s a gloomy day where we are and this sounds like the perfect dinner! Get the recipe here and make it with us!
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Ham & Cheese Low Carb Breakfast Muffins
• Southern Goulash
• Millie’s Cajun Chicken BLT
• Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
• Hamburger, Sausage, Broccoli Alfredo – Low Carb
Museum of the Week
American Gothic House & Center
Even if you’re not an art aficionado you surely know the famous painting “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. If you’ve ever visited Chicago, you’ve seen it in the incredible Art Institute of Chicago. And, if you’ve ever been to Eldon, Iowa, you may have seen the house in the painting, which is still standing today. You can only go inside the house on select dates, but you can go right up to it and visit the adjacent visitor center, which has a gallery and gift shop. We think this would be pretty neat to see in person! Visit the official website to plan your visit.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Jasper is an Aussie/Lab mix and one of the smartest and loving dogs we have ever owned! We rescued her as a 7-week-old pup lost in the woods of North Georgia and have never been happier! She is 2 years old and loves our new RV and her new adventurous lifestyle with Mom and Dad out on the road. Cheers to all living the dream!” —Janet Warncke
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.
Make an omelette in seconds!
Tired of making eggs and dealing with the mess, cleanup, and timely preparation? This microwaveable omelette maker saves the day! This handy gadget makes omelettes in just three easy steps: beat eggs and milk, add ingredients, microwave and eat! It promotes healthy eating by cutting out butter, oil and grease. Buy this breakfast-saver here.
When you have me you immediately feel like sharing me. But if you do share me you do not have me. What am I?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Do you have a brain teaser you think we should use? Send it to us here.
Cute video of the week
Since we’ve stopped delivering “Good News” to you on Sunday, Nanci Dixon still wants to share cute and funny videos with you each week. We’ll post them here each Saturday.
Make sure you have your volume turned up for this one! We actually said “AWWWW!” out loud.
Where is the largest working musical instrument in the world located? If you guessed Philidelphia, you’re right! Inside the Macy’s Department Store on Market Street, you’ll find the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ (named after the original store). The instrument is so big it reaches multiple floors of the department store. The organ has 28,604 pipes! There is only one dedicated organ master who is allowed to play the Wanamaker – go figure! BTW, the organ is a National Historic Landmark and valued in excess of $79 million. Maybe that explains why only one organ master is allowed to play it.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
shell out. “From the actual ‘shelling out’ of peas and corn – removing the first from their pods and removing corn from the cob – came the figurative use of to shell out, ‘to pay out.’ Removing a seed from a pod, etc., is like taking money out of a purse or pocket and, furthermore, dried shelled peas and ‘shelled corn,’ as it was called in America, were often a medium of exchange in the past. The phrase is first recorded in 1825.”
Laugh of the Week
Words of Wisdom: “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” Source.
Leave with a song from the past
Here they are, Hollywood’s cute, manufactured musical group to capitalize on the popularity of the Beatles – the Monkees, with their big hit “The Last Train To Clarksville.”
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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, Sandi Sturm, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Andy Zipser, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, and Karel Carnohan, DVM. Podcast and our SiriusXM producer: Scott Linden. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. 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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