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December 11, 2021
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Why your local RV dealer won’t honor your warranty
By Tony Barthel, a former RV dealer warranty administrator
ou bought a new RV, and you got a great deal out of state. But now there are a few things wrong with it. So you take it to the local dealership where you saw the RV the first time.
Now they’re saying they won’t work on it. What’s going on? Are they trying to rip you off? Actually, this is fully legitimate and well within the agreement between the manufacturers and the dealership.
Here’s why this happens so often and why you can expect it to continue happening. This is fascinating reading.
California vote complicates future RV generator use
California’s air pollution officials have angered RV manufacturers. Come 2028, all portable generators (including those “built into” RVs) sold in California must produce ZERO air pollutants. Manufacturers fret that RV sales in California will drop like a rock. But what does the new ruling really mean for RVers? Will you be able to use a gas-fired generator in the Golden State? Here’s a short preview of the full story that will appear in tomorrow’s newsletter.
Would you like to write something for RV Travel?
Do you have a strong opinion about something going on in the RV industry? Do you have a story that you believe other RVers might find interesting? We invite you to submit an essay of 400-600 words that we can post. Just think, your name will have a place in RVtravel.com history! Send us an email here with either your essay/article attached or your essay/article ideas. If we like what you write, there may be future (even paid) opportunities to work together. Thanks!
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Final decision: California vote complicates future RV generator use
• Proposed legislation may leave RVers with more time to camp
• Campground Crowding: No reservations, high gas prices… “Camping in the backyard was not the plan!”
• Thor and Winnebago must lower backlog to keep stockholders happy
• VW camper to return: “ID. California” officially announced
• Seattle KOA closes, leaving few, if any, local places to camp overnight
• Rich or poor, RVers have a hard time finding a place to roost
• Zion, Yosemite National Parks adding lotteries for sites and hikes
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…
Our Great RV Accessories Newsletter is returning today at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Learn about great gizmos and gadgets for your RV and your RV lifestyle! Sign up if you haven’t already, or read today’s newsletter.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Where to fill those propane tanks on the road
• 7+ ways to use a delivery service on the road
• Don’t forget to clean those dirty AC and heat pump filters. Yuck!
• They’re not just for shoes: Use shoe organizers throughout your RV!
• Tips to keep you out of trouble when boondocking on public lands
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Grand Design Imagine XLS 23BHE. How does this rig compare to the Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 256BHS, which Tony recently reviewed? Read today’s review to find out, and see which one Tony likes more.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 256BHS
• 2022 Rockwood A213HW hard-side pop-up camper
• Airstream Bambi vs. Caravel – Two 20FBs compared
• 2022 Keystone Cougar 25RDS
• 2022 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2891BH
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.
Get your questions answered, talk with the authors, and receive all the advice you could ever ask for!
Most RVtravel.com writers are getting their own forums, where readers can discuss their articles with them and ask them and other RVers questions. Here are six you can visit now.
• Dave Solberg (RV Repair and Maintenance)
• Mike Sokol (RV Electricity)
• Tony Barthel (RV Reviews)
• Roger Marble (RV Tires)
• Dr. Karel Carnohan (Ask the Pet Vet)
• Fun Pet Stories (with Dr. Karel Carnohan)
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
ABCs of Full-Time RV Living
By Nanci Dixon
We are full-time RVers, living our dream. We belong to that ever-growing group of adventurous people that have sold their sticks and bricks houses, gotten rid of almost all their belongings, and left friends and family to live the dream of RV living full-time. … Everything you want to know about full-time RVing is here.
Here’s what RVers really want for Christmas (Hint: Send this to your family)
By Gail Marsh
Okay, sure. I like camping-themed T-shirts. But this year I’m hoping for something more. Not necessarily items that cost more. Just practical things that I know we’ll use. It’s not too late to shop. The supply chain seems to be catching up, so here’s my list of suggestions of gifts for RVers.
One of the U.S.’s most dangerous roads will have you bracing for impact!
By Nanci Dixon
Needles Highway is one of the most beautiful and dangerous roads in the U.S. I drove our subcompact car gently through the Eye of the Needle on Needles Highway in South Dakota, looking carefully ahead (it is a one-way road) and glancing at the scrape marks on the tunnel’s granite walls. The Needles Highway covers 14 miles of South Dakota’s Highway 87. It is breathtakingly scenic with drop-offs, mountain ridges and picture-perfect views. Continue reading.
Get Cozy! Here are our readers’ favorite books, part one
By Emily Woodbury
We recently asked our readers to share their favorite book or books. I so enjoyed reading through your responses and am so excited to read some of these books and hope you are too! Here is part one of our “Readers’ favorite books” (and boy, it’s quite a variety!). Happy reading!
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A recent study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) could light a match under complacency. The NFPA’s research foundation undertook a study of RV fires occurring in the U.S. over a 10-year period. While RVing is still likely one of the “safest” recreational pursuits, the data from the study proved to be an eye-opener. We’re analyzing the data now, and will have a full story after the turn of the year. Continue reading, and please participate in the poll contained in the post regarding whether you have personally experienced an RV fire or not.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• RV parks with fishing lakes. No state license required!
• RVing and autopsy tables
• 7 tips for keeping a happy marriage while RVing
• Goodbye letter from reader: RVtravel.com has grown too impersonal
If you could sell your RV right now for a good price would you do it?
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:
What size T-shirt do you wear? See how nearly 1,900 other RVers answered.
7 of the best personality traits for full-time RVing (and a quiz: Is full-timing right for you?)
Many folks are jumping into a new lifestyle – full-time living on the road. It sounds exciting and invigorating! … But before you stab that “For Sale” sign on your lawn, take this very unofficial self-survey. If you find you have most of the character traits necessary for life exclusively on the road, maybe full-time RVing is for you! Test yourself here.
Wacky RVs: These space junkies are ready for blast-off!
By Sandi Sturm
Our previous (and our first) travel trailer was 20 years old when we sold it and traded up. RV parks were starting to refuse us because of its age, while others allowed us to send images to prove it didn’t look like, you know, a 20-year-old trailer. That brings a big question to mind: How do you answer when they ask how long your unit is and how old it is when they look like these? Check out these far-out RVs here.
Makes a great gift!
The most festive RVing shirt of all time!
This shirt has a Christmas tree made out of RVs – you’ll get so many compliments! Every RVer who celebrates Christmas needs this! It comes in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes in many different colors so you can get one for everyone in the family! The solid colors are 100% cotton so it’ll only get softer the more you wear it. It also comes as a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt. Order one (or more) before Christmas!
Want to know more about your diesel pusher or diesel Super C? This might be your answer
By Roger Stickley
Each year since 1990, the Ramblin’ Pushers have offered an event that focuses specifically on proper maintenance and safe operation of Class A and Super C diesel coaches. The event was started by a group of Holiday Rambler owners who met in the spring to get their annual maintenance tasks performed and share their knowledge of coach systems with each other. They called their gathering a Maintenance Session (MS for short) to distinguish it from more casual, socially-oriented RV rallies. In recent years the MS has expanded its list of eligible coaches…. Continue reading about this great group. You might want to join!
Do you wave to passing motorists? Is this a rural thing?
By Gail Marsh
I hadn’t given it much thought until a recent trip we took to Iowa. Seems like the minute we crossed the border into the Hawkeye State, it began – the wave. I’m not talking about water waves. I mean the friendly gesture one driver offers to an oncoming vehicle. … This is the “Hello! We’re both on this road together and I think I’ll greet you” wave. What’s so interesting about a wave of greeting? To me, it’s the wide variety of wave variations we’ve seen on the road. Here are a few of my favorites. (This is interesting and fun!)
Video: Would you be able to travel across the country without road signs?
Road signs are taken for granted these days. But they tell us what city is approaching, what gas stations are off the next exit, and where to switch highways to get to that world’s largest potato. This video explores the invention of the road sign and why they are the color and shape that they are today. Fascinating!
Is this your RV?
Win a prize if it’s yours!
We are continuing this feature by popular demand! We just moved it to its own page.
Popular articles from last week
• RV Tire Safety: RVer thinks 65 psi in TT tires is too much; asks for advice
• What’s in store for RVers in 2022? We break down all the variables and decide what they mean
• RV dealers aren’t happy with manufacturer relationships – They’re trying to improve, manufacturers apparently are not
• Cops bust prolific RV catalytic converter burglar
• The Quartzsite Report: Your Quartzsite questions answered
• Ask Dave: Can I use tow vehicle battery and jumper cables to supplement my trailer’s house battery?
• RV Consumer Support: Save money: Recertify propane cylinders
• Ask Dave: Why does my water pump cycle every few seconds?
• Casino Camping: Consider a casino campground; these are nice!
Estimating campsite lengths
You can estimate campsite lengths using Google Earth, but reader John Z. adds a piece of cautionary advice: “Length may also be limited by the access road to the campground. This is particularly true of National Parks and Forests – Zion and Glacier are two prime examples where vehicle size limits are imposed on roads leading in or through [the campground].” Thanks, John.
Replace the waste valve handles with metal ones
Over the course of three years I had all three original factory installed plastic waste valve handles crack or break in my hand. I’ve replaced all with metal handles. They are nice to use and should last as long as I have the rig. Thanks to Ray Burr at loveyourrv.com.
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices while on the road, whether flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes you just can’t tell how much life a battery has remaining so you toss it to “be sure.” This small, inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to the condition of a battery, saving you money from needlessly tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
How would you like to win a Portable Food Warmer?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 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.
“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.
RV Show Directory: See if a show is coming soon to your area.
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.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Get one of these and your mornings will instantly be improved! No way you’ll want to go back to how you were doing things before! Plus, we like these designs. Check it out.
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.
My battery drains during storage. Can I disconnect a cable to prevent that?
I have a 2015 Coachmen Prism. It has two house batteries connected in parallel. After a week or two of sitting, the batteries discharge to 11 volts or so. Can I disconnect the batteries to slow down the discharge? If so, how many terminals do I disconnect? Thank you. —Kerry
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Why does my water pump cycle every few seconds?
• What filtration system do you recommend to fill freshwater tank when boondocking?
• I’m not getting power out of my WFCO 8275 “inverter.” Why not?
• Can I use tow vehicle battery and jumper cables to supplement my trailer’s house battery?
• Batteries won’t keep steps working. And where is the charger?
NEW! Visit Dave’s new forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
The absolute coolest fort-builder for kids!
This is so much fun – your kids and/or grandkids are going to flip over this! This fort-builder comes with 69 pieces so you can build the biggest and best fort of all time! Design a cave, pirate ship, igloo, or castle. Cover the design with bedsheets and the kids will have their own clubhouse! We would have loved this as a kid! Makes a great gift! Learn more or order.
with Mike Sokol
Get ready for my RVelectricity™ MasterClass seminars
Good morning, Mike,
I’m really interested in attending your February RVelectricity event in Seattle, but I can’t find where to sign up for the seminars. Can you share? Thank you in advance. –Jeff S.
Read all about Mike’s upcoming seminars, including topics covered, here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session
2022 RVelectricity™ Seminar dates
Just where are you planning to teach your RVelectricity seminars next year? I would really like to attend one. —Big Jim
Dear Big Jim,
Glad you asked… I’ll continue to update this page as more RVelectricity Seminars are added (to a max of 12 in 2022). Exact days and times TBA. I’ll also be adding evening RVTI Level-3 Electricity classes to many of these events. These advanced CEU classes will be available only to certified RV technicians. … Continue reading for the schedule of seminars around the country. If there’s one near you, you won’t want to miss it.
RV Tire Safety
DOT tire safety regulations
By Roger Marble
Occasionally I will get questions about some specific feature in a tire or asked why tire engineers didn’t design tires to perform in a different manner. Sometimes some even want to question why I didn’t design a tire to perform some task such as supporting more load so the RV owner wasn’t forced to buy a more expensive tire. … Continue reading Roger’s explanation here. (Warning from editor: I think he’s a little cranky this week.)
NEW! Visit Roger’s new RV Tire Forum here. Ask him questions, join in the discussion, learn more about RV tires.
Makes a great gift!
Never have cold hands again with these rechargeable hand warmers!
These highly-rated hand warmers are rechargeable so you’ll never have cold hands again – you won’t even need gloves! It has a long-lasting battery with a USB charger. All you have to do is push a button for three heating levels and you’ll be warm in seconds! These make the perfect stocking-stuffer for anyone who is always cold! Learn more or order.
RV Fire Safety
Have any wiring in your coach performed by a licensed electrician, and use common sense operating any electrical appliances, especially high amperage ones like electric space heaters and griddles. Check all 120-volt connectors for tightness and lack of corrosion at least once a season. Most coach fires are caused by a high-resistance connection overheating due to corrosion or a loose screw from road vibration. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Oh, yum! This chicken fettuccini Alfredo is tasty. What’s not to love? It has a cheesy, buttery, garlic Alfredo sauce that’s easy to make. Bits of crunchy broccoli add texture to the dish. Mixed with chicken breasts, it’s a hearty restaurant-quality meal.
We want this and we want this now! Get the recipe and please invite us over!
Museum of the Week
Visit the McDonald’s Museum
San Bernardino, CA
If you’re a Big Mac fan, this is one tasty museum you don’t want to miss! The McDonald’s Museum sits on the original site of the very first McDonald’s restaurant, which opened in 1940 on Route 66 (now Foothill Boulevard). Inside, you’ll certainly take a trip down memory lane if McDonald’s and Happy Meals were a part of your childhood. You’ll find all the McDonald’s memorabilia you could imagine – plates, cups, toys, bags, photos, playground equipment, the history of Ronald McDonald and much more. The museum doesn’t have an official website, but plan your visit at Tripadvisor.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Chico is a 7 1/2-year-old (M) French Bulldog. He loves to camp almost as much as me and even has his own chair to sit by the fire … LOL!!” —Jim Mott
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.
Fire-resistant bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables from a fire. Its two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material make it resist fire and heat up to 1000℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables won’t be harmed. *Please note: This is not fireproof, it is fire resistant. Learn more or order.
It’s as light as a feather, but even the strongest person in the world can’t hold it for more than five minutes. What is it?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
What is the oldest company logo in continuous use? Twinings Tea! Twinings hasn’t changed its logo since the inception of the company all the way back in 1706. On top of that impressive record, their original tea shop in London has been in continuous operation ever since. That makes that tea shop the longest-standing property taxpayer in the history of London. Impressive!
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
escape. “The Latin word excappare (from ex, ‘out of,’ and cappa, ‘cloak’) means ‘to slip out of one’s cloak,’ and is the ancestor of our word escape, although the Greeks had a similar word meaning literally ‘to get out of one’s clothes.’ The idea behind these words is probably someone slipping out of a cloak or coat held by a robber or jailer, and escaping, leaving the villain or keeper with the cloak in his hands.”
Laugh of the Week
Leave with a song from the past
In honor of the season, here, from Celtic Woman, is a beautiful rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Who publishes 700+ RV newsletters a year? Only us!
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Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, 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 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 • Mark Gorrie + 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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