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November 27, 2021
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
How the new coronavirus variant may impact RVers
By Chuck Woodbury
Just when we think we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, we may instead be seeing the headlight of an approaching freight train.
Did you read the news yesterday (Friday) that a new coronavirus variant, dubbed Omicron, has been discovered in South Africa, and is already spreading? It’s been detected in Hong Kong and Belgium, and it won’t stop there. The variant has about double the amount of mutations as the Delta variant, and may even be resistant to current vaccines. Most health experts are worried.
I believe we will soon see new travel restrictions to and from counties around the world. It’s already started. Anyone in the international travel business must be terribly disheartened, their hopes dashed of a return to normalcy.
So what does this mean for you and me?
It means the explosive popularity of RVing is not about to end soon, with another projected 600,000 new RVs to hit the market in 2022. RVing has been, and still is, the safest way to travel. Last month, RV manufacturers set an all-time record with 57,971 shipments. I’ll take a very wild guess and say that in the same month only a thousand new campsites were added (if that).
It’s about to get even more crowded out there in Camperland…
You and I will adapt (but not all of us). We’ll camp in the off-season or head to areas not normally popular with tourists. Or we’ll play “The Reservation Game” by using apps that, for a fee, locate last-minute campsite cancellations and book us in the spot in a matter of seconds.
I love my RV. I love every minute I spend with it. But I must say, with much sadness, it’s become a big ol’ hassle to “go where I want when I want” as the RV industry promises. Next year, I suspect, will be worse. I wish the RV industry would get their collective noses out of their sales reports and work creatively on improving the lives of RV buyers after the sale (translation: provide some leadership promoting the creation of more campsites and other places to stay). Right now, the industry as a whole doesn’t give a damn. It’s disappointing.
As always, we’ll follow the trends in our Sunday newsletter and will continue to help publicize any ideas or proposals that address how to cope with campground congestion and other RV-related issues that affect the quality of our travels.
OUR NEW FORUMS
On a more upbeat note, I am happy to report that we are rolling out our new forums. Most of our writers will soon have one of their own, where they can discuss with readers the articles they write and related topics. Up first are Mike Sokol (electricity), Dave Solberg (RV repair and maintenance) and Tony Barthel (RV reviews). Please visit their forums to say hi, comment on one of their articles, or ask a question. And if you want to ask me a question or leave a comment about RVtravel.com, please do so here.
We announced earlier this month that we would put our daily “Is this your RV?” contest on hold for awhile. Well, so many of you pleaded with us to “Don’t do it!” that we’ll keep it going. We’ll place the contest on its own page, though, with a link from each issue. We’ll soon debut another, second, contest to run concurrently. Stay tuned.
Your favorite books?
Here at RVtravel.com, we’re big readers. We love reading, and we love learning about new books!
As RVers, we have a lot of time to read. We listen to audiobooks as we drive; we read under our cozy blankets as the rain pitter-patters on the roof at night; and boy, reading with ever-changing beautiful views from our camp chairs… What could be better?
Do you have an all-time favorite book (or two or three)? We’d like to know! Please click here to tell us.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Opinions wanted: What do record manufacturing results really mean for RVing future?
• Tesla’s new headquarters find home in Austin. 10,000 new workers stress already tight housing market. RVs to the rescue
• Utah RV fraud victims could still have their day in court
• Campground Crowding: Reader says some campers should lose campground privileges… for life!
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…
Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us!
RVtravel.com would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary contributors. Their support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $10 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish. That’s all! And when you contribute, you’ll receive a special member-only ad-free version of this newsletter forever as one way for us to say thank you. Learn more or donate.
Last week’s Tips of the Day in RV Daily Tips
• Despite what some way, RVs don’t drive like trucks. Know these rules of the road just for RVs
• Foam gap filler is a quick fix for cracks and holes in the RV
• How to transport and where to store pet fencing with an RV
• Thanksgiving Articles of the Day
• A reason to boondock: The value of personal space
Not subscribed to our RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Well, why the heck not? Sign up here. You won’t regret it!
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2022 Springdale 202QBWE. With RV and delivery prices on the rise, Tony looks at what you can still get for under $30,000. Take a peek.
Be sure to check out Tony’s new RV Review Forum here. Ask him questions about RVs, add comments, suggest an RV for him to review, whatever.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
It’s getting harder and harder to be tolerant of intolerance!
Gail Marsh writes: “I’m becoming more and more concerned about the direction people are headed. No, I don’t mean headed in their RVs. I’m talking about what’s become a very rapid decline in the number of folks who are tolerant of others. Intolerance is now the norm. Fewer and fewer people seem willing and actually able to listen and respond to others with civility or even basic politeness. Emily Post might just be rolling in her grave!” Continue reading this thought-provoking article, then let us know if you agree with Gail’s concerns.
Time to downsize? Here’s how to find a smaller RV that works best for you
Have you worked your way up to having “too much RV”? Is it a struggle to find parking, storage, or campsites with large enough spaces? Has keeping that 40+ foot diesel pusher in showroom condition become a full-time job? Perhaps it’s time to downsize your RV. Here is a lot of great advice from Randall Brink from his own experience when downsizing.
Disasters – Round Three: The saga of the newbie continues; I’m thinking about giving up… already!!
By Karol Carnohan, DVM
You all deserve an update on my harrowing move to California from North Carolina in my new used Newmar coach. I write this story, bearing the risk of ridicule, so that readers can learn from my mistakes. I am not writing to fish for sympathy because I acknowledge that I did this all wrong. Believe me, I am paying for my mistakes. Continue reading.
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
For decades we’ve heard the praises of Tiffin RVs. A couple of our friends own them and have largely praised their solid manufacturing and durability. But when we heard that Tiffin had been bought out by Thor, we heard alarm bells. Here’s a tale told by one RVer on how, despite disappointments, Tiffin comes through, even after the Thor takeover. Learn more.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How likely would you stay more than one night at a location with no internet access of any kind?
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:
Pick your two favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Take a guess at what you think is the crowd favorite, then click here to see what more than 3,100 votes say!
The top 5 regrets people had as they were dying. What can we learn from these?
By Nanci Dixon
As some of you may know, my father is dying. He is 98 and had been hoping to reach 99, even inviting the hospice nurse and caregivers to his birthday party. Our birthdays are on the same day, March 4th, and he may not make it that long. … I recently read the top five regrets of the dying that Bonnie Ware, an Australian hospice nurse, learned from her patients. Here they are.
These beautiful winter train rides will bring magic to the holidays
Sandi Sturm’s love of trains came honestly and early. She relates how occasionally it is nice to get out of the RV driver’s seat and experience scenery you will never see from the road. And since these are winter snow train trips, the scenery would not be seen from the driver’s seat in the same way. Here are a few train rides to consider over the winter. All aboooaaard!
Black Friday Special – SAVE 20% on membership!
Stay FREE at more than 2,400 wineries and farms
Stay overnight for free at more than 2,400 wineries, farms, breweries, etc.! Harvest Hosts is an alternative to traditional campgrounds, where members can taste great wines and micro-brews, eat fresh produce and stay in peaceful settings. Now though Dec. 31, save 20% on a membership automatically applied at check out. Learn more
Wacky RVs: Are these extra toppings included in the price?
Some of these wacky RVs are pushing the limits on height restrictions on U.S. roads, but maybe they were trying to get more space without needing width restriction permits? An Airstream toaster (or was it a toasted Airstreamer)? A very elevated trailer? Check those out and more here.
Video: Take a look inside these 10 luxurious celebrity motorhomes
Sandi Sturm reports: “When I was a kid in the ’60s and ’70s, I knew of musicians that traveled from gig to gig in their fancy buses, and I always wondered what they looked like inside. This was before the internet and YouTube, of course, so my knowledge was limited to what I saw in magazines. … But today, celebrities spend upwards of $1 million, or more, on their home away from home.” Check out some of them 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, November 27, 2021. If it’s yours you’ll win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
Last week three readers claimed their $25 Amazon gift cards: Fred Cwynar of Punta Gorda, Florida, Terri/Claud Hugley of Elbert, Colorado, and Daniel Carter of Martinez, California.
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
• Turned down when you want propane? For some RVers, it’s happening
• Part two: RV parks and big money investors – Are they building trailer courts or RV parks?
• DEF in a diesel tank? Don’t touch that key!
• Worker shortage taking toll on campgrounds and site fees
• Yosemite closes popular campgrounds until 2024
• Guilty plea in RVing couple’s homicide
• The Quartzsite Report: November winds down
• No problem with reservations here. Is overcrowding a regional problem?
• Very wacky RVs seen in Walmart parking lots
• Yikes! Would your RV survive driving down (or up) this 25% grade?
• Top 9 boondocking gift suggestions
• Campground Crowding: “Am I supposed to employ a bot or two to make my reservations?”
How to make sure you get the right replacement faucet
Need to replace a faucet in your RV? Best to remove the old one, then shop for the new. Some RV faucets have different spacing than “house” faucets and you need to ensure the less expensive (or greater featured-filled) ones from the “big box” store will fit.
Keep your tools handy
Buy an old pair of channel-lock pliers at a yard sale and keep them in the utility compartment. Then you won’t have to remember to take them with you every time if you need to tighten the hose or unscrew a stuck sewer cap. They will rust, so an occasional drop of lubricant helps. Buy a cheap cell phone belt carrier, use a hook-and-loop (Velcro) fastener, and hang your pliers from the compartment wall. Thanks to Ron Jones, AboutRVing.com.
MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
An ornament for the National Park lover!
Choose from a selection of beautiful National Park ornaments for the National Park lover in your life. Aren’t these so neat? We want them all! See this one and more here.
How would you like to win a Keurig Mini Coffee Maker?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 27, 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.
“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.
Light-up Christmas camper is a must-have for holiday decor!
Oh, have you ever seen anything so cute? And not only is it cute, but it also lights up! This adorable hand-painted vintage camper is perfect for adding holiday cheer to your table, mantel, kitchen, bedside table, bathroom and more! The camper comes with a 5′ plug-in light cord and extra bulbs. You gotta have it! (We do too!). Learn more or order.
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 the gray water tank still leak after replacement?
My 2019 Grand Design Reflection 29RS has had repeated problems and multiple attempts to repair the kitchen gray water tank leak. Both certified and non-certified mobile or shop techs as well as the RV dealer have attempted to repair it. The gray tank has even been replaced by a new tank supplied by the manufacturer. The last repair covered by Grand Design was by a dealer using epoxy. I have filled and drained the tank many times and exposed the underpan to try to locate the source. I can’t find the problem. … —Michael
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• What batteries do you recommend for boondocking?
• Should there be an anode rod in our RV’s water heater?
• Faucets don’t work with pump but do with city water. Why?
• Why does RV water heater work on LP but not on 120 volt?
• Why is my refrigerator freezing the food?
NEW! We have started a new Ask Dave Forum on RVtravel.com. Click here.
A Scream-ing lesson in Norway: Don’t be afraid to explore; you never know what you’ll find
Chris Epting and his son visited Oslo, Norway, on their way to explore around an Arctic archipelago. He especially wanted to see the most famous local painting: Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Chris and his son then spent quite a busy and sometimes frustrating day tracking down the location which inspired Munch to paint this picture after sensing “an infinite scream passing through nature.” Read the thought-provoking lesson Chris learned during their adventure, here.
In case you missed this on Thanksgiving:
Historic places to stop and give thanks
Thanksgiving is a time for family, turkey and football, right? Well, as we all learned back in school, there actually is a reason we sit at the table and give thanks each year (and not just because we get long weekends!). It’s to commemorate the courage and perseverance of the Pilgrims. There are many places to visit which embody this history, so let’s drop that drumstick and get ready to make a few Thanksgiving pilgrimages. These are great to visit any time of the year.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
One of these that doesn’t smell? It’s a meow-acle! This is too funny. We know quite a few people we could gift this to!
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
By Nanci Dixon
First, I need to tell you that I haven’t ridden a bike in more than 40 years. Yes, doing the math will prove that I am OLD. While waiting for the Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0 eBike to test and review, I was filled with both excitement and quite a bit of trepidation. Continue reading this thorough review of the Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0 eBike.
with Mike Sokol
A deadly “RV hot-skin condition” can spread to other RVs
Time for a reminder about a miswiring condition I first discovered some 50 years ago, and then found it in campgrounds around 10 years ago when I began writing for the RV industry. It’s a hot-skin voltage that can be “reflected” to multiple campers in the same area of a campground. … Continue reading this extremely important lifesaving information here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
My most memorable Thanksgiving meal, in 1971
At first blush there doesn’t appear to be a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. But as long as we have family and friends and coworkers, there is a lot to give thanks about. So, here is my 2017 article about a very memorable Thanksgiving when I was 17 years old while working alone in a service station, pumping gas for all the holiday travelers. Read it here.
[Note from editor: This is one of Mike’s most heartwarming stories from his Road Signs series.]
MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
Want a boat but don’t have space? Try an inflatable one!
Inflatable boats became quite popular among RVers and outdoor enthusiasts this year. They’re affordable and fold down small so they can be stored in car trunks, on cargo racks, in RV underbelly storage or in a closet! If you’re skeptical, just read the reviews (or visit a nearby lake and ask someone in person!). Here’s an inflatable rowboat, and here’s a Kayak (single and tandem).
RV Tire Safety
Adjusting tire pressure because it’s cold outside
By Roger Marble
I ran across a series of posts on an RV forum on the need to adjust tire pressure because of changes in ambient temperature. First, let’s be sure we all are using the same definition for “ambient temperature.” For our purposes we should consider it “the outdoor air temperature in the shade.” Continue reading.
RV Short Stops
Many cities celebrating with free holiday lights
By Julianne G. Crane
Many communities across America celebrate the season with free family-friendly outdoor holiday lights events. Read about these gorgeous displays and fun activities here.
Birdwatching for RVers
What bird is that? Follow these steps for easy bird identification
By Dale Wade
So, you left home a week ago and finally arrived at your destination. As you sit outside taking in the surroundings, a bird flitters by and lands in a nearby tree. If you have ever wondered, “Gee, what is that bird?” here are a few tips on bird identification.
With Karel Carnohan, DVM
My pet is old. What do I do if they die while RVing?
Dear Dr. Karel,
As a person who travels with a very senior cat, 19+ years old, do you have any thoughts if they die “on the road”? I know that the sad moment will come and I’m not really ready. Maybe a contributor has thoughts along these lines. I’m pretty sure that this sad event has happened to others reading this newsletter. —Tom P.
RV Fire Safety
Fuel safety tips
Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Though diesel fuel is less volatile, it dissipates more slowly, so it remains a danger longer. Deal at once with any leaks or spills, and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Caprese salad is a classic recipe with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. This version adds a little brown rice and quinoa for a heartier salad. The honey balsamic dressing gives the dish a lightly sweet and tangy flavor. It’s delicious and will be great for a picnic or even a dinner party.
This is something we need after such a heavy week of eating! Get the recipe.
Museum of the Week
American International Rattlesnake Museum
If you like snakes, this museum is for you! Slither through and you’ll find snake memorabilia, facts and diagrams about venom, rattles, fangs and more, and the largest collection of different species of live rattlesnakes in the world! These snakes are worth the visit in itself! Plus, they have a great gift shop. Learn more or plan your visit on the official museum website.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Sally loves traveling. She especially likes breakfast in the camper!” —Brad Vold
A wonderful book for the Alaska-adventure lover
“Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier,” by Mark Adams, tells the incredible story of the 1899 voyage of Edward H. Harriman and his “floating university” among other scientists and writers. Mark Adams sets out to retrace this historic expedition and investigates how the lessons learned in 1899 may still apply today. A fascinating read that will surely have you wanting to visit Alaska. Learn more or order.
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.
What has a mouth, but cannot eat. Moves, but has no legs. Has a bank, but no money?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Much like trees, you can determine the age of a bear by counting the rings in its teeth. That is, if you can get close enough to a bear’s tooth… If you take a cross-section of a bear’s tooth and examine it under a microscope, you’ll find layers. Each year, a new layer is formed. First it’s light in color, then, during hibernation, it turns dark. By examining the spacing between rings, you can also tell if a bear has given birth. The growth layers are thinner during the years they have cubs because much of the calcium and other nutrients that make up a tooth go towards nursing their cubs.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
behind the scenes. “Though the origins of this phrase are theatrical, as you would expect, it goes back to the English theater in the time of Charles I, when elaborate paintings were commonly used for the first time to create atmosphere on the stage. Since these paintings were often landscapes, they were called ‘scenes.’ Behind them much of the important action of a play went on – birth, murders, intrigues, and the like – action that wasn’t represented on the stage. As early as 1658 we find the playwright John Dryden writing on ‘Things happening in the Action of the Play, and the suppos’d to be done behind the Scenes.’ It wasn’t long before the phrase began to be used figuratively to describe any important action hidden from the ordinary spectator, especially in places of power.”
Laugh of the Week
A woman driving a car got lost in a snowstorm. She didn’t panic because she remembered what her dad had once told her to do. “Just wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it.” Sure enough, pretty soon a snow plow appeared, and she followed it for 45 minutes until its driver got out and asked her what she was doing. She explained what her dad had told her. The driver nodded and said, “Well, I’m done with the Walmart parking lot. Do you want to follow me over to Walgreens?” (Thanks to George Bliss, who has driven many miles in snow in the Yukon, etc.)
Leave with a song from the past
Here’s a little post-Thanksgiving song for all the ex-Hippies in the crowd, and for others who simply appreciate an incredibly clever folk song. Recorded at Farm Aid 2005, here’s Arlo Guthrie singing the ever-popular “Alice’s Restaurant.”
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, 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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