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December 18, 2021
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
By Emily Woodbury
ere we sit, on the cusp of another holiday season come, and almost gone.
It has been another whirlwind, emotional, limiting year. It seems only yesterday that the bubbles in champagne ringing in 2021 fizzed to the top of the glass with hope – maybe this year would be better. Maybe this year we’d go back to “normal.” Maybe this year…
I think it’s fair to say that “normal” looks different now, almost two years after the start of the pandemic. The world is a bit quieter, a bit lonelier, a bit more sullen than it has been in recent years. The political climate alone has torn friends, families and neighbors apart, and now a virus – masks on, distances kept – has separated us even further.
During the holidays this year, whether you’re with friends, family, neighbors or another community of people, or whether you’re alone, I urge you to take the anger inside of you, the built-up frustrations and hurt, and ball it up and put it in your back pocket.
Let that ball of anger sit there with your flags, your political yard signs, your vaccination cards, your bumper stickers, your foul words, your hurtful words, the finger that you sometimes stick up as you pass someone moving too slow.
Let it sit in that back pocket while you eat dinner with your husband or wife, kids or grandkids, friends or fellow churchgoers. Let it sit there while you hum along to “Jingle Bells” as it plays on the radio. Let it sit there while you wave to a neighbor: “Merry Christmas!” you’ll say. Let it sit there as you take the dog outside on their last potty break of the night. If you’re looking up at the night sky, there’s no way you’ll remember it’s there in your back pocket. How could you when you are simply a speck of stardust?
We are all just looking up at the same night sky. To some it’s “O Holy Night,” to Van Gogh it’s “Starry Night,” to an astronomer it’s “Alpha Orionis.” To me, well, I can name a few constellations, but mostly it’s just beautiful.
I am much younger than the majority of you. I will watch the world as we know it disappear right in front of me. If I have children, they will not know the world that you are so familiar with right now. Your grandchildren will not know the world that you are so familiar with right now.
Protect it for them, those kids with bright, wide eyes. They might not know the name of the Milky Way, but they point up with their fingers and mumble, “Oooo…. Ahhh.”
We are all just looking up at the same night sky.
My friends here at RVtravel.com, our incredible staff and writers who work so hard for you, wish you the happiest of holidays and the merriest of Christmases. We won’t have a newsletter next Saturday, Christmas Day, but we will be thinking of you, wherever in this beautiful world that you are.
And see, you forgot about that ball of anger in your back pocket, didn’t you?
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Your Verizon customer privacy is gone – unless you act now
• Customer “experience” in demand: More amenities, more glitz and more wow! You’ll pay the price
• The 12 most popular spots for RVing on public lands announced. What takes #1?
• Campground Crowding: “Campground bullies” are jealous of your site. Have you experienced them?
• REV Group, another large RV manufacturer with multi-billion-dollar backlog
And all the latest news that affects RVers.
PLUS: 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
• Prevent mold with these simple tricks to cut down humidity inside your RV
• 9 bad things to eat while traveling in your RV
• Here are some things I do to make camp cooking easier
• Keeping your powder – er, paper – dry in a wet bath
• Can you drive a Class A RV? Here are tips to get you started
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new 2022 Jayco Jay Flight 34RSBS. He writes, “If I had a piece of property somewhere and wanted to just drop a trailer on it, rather than build something, this would certainly be one that I would consider. Of course, this trailer is every bit capable of being towed on an epic adventure too….” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:
• Grey Wolf Black Label 18RR toy hauler
• Highland Ridge RV Open Range 19BH
• Comparing three trailers: Coleman, Dutchmen, Springdale
• Rockwood Mini Lite 2514S
• The unusual Sundowner TrailBlazer 1669 travel trailer
Tony’s most popular RV Review of 2021 was…
Most RVtravel.com writers are getting their own forums, where readers can discuss their articles with them. Here are five you can visit now.
• Dave Solberg (RV Repair and Maintenance)
Do you have questions for Dave about RV maintenance? Ask them here!
• Mike Sokol (RV Electricity)
Do you have a question about RV electricity? Mike has all the answers!
• Tony Barthel (RV Reviews)
Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request here!
• Roger Marble (RV Tires)
Roger has years of RV tire expertise!
• Dr. Karel Carnohan (Ask the Pet Vet)
Dr. Karel is here to help answer questions about your little travel companions!
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Our top 10 most popular articles of 2021 were…
10. Ex-RV park owner has no regrets for selling: Stress was too much
Prior to this article, the last time Andy Zipser wrote for RVtravel.com, in early June, it was to explain why, after eight years, he and his family had just sold their Virginia RV park. Now, 4 months later, he’s writing to say that he has absolutely no regrets. Why? He explains why. For RVers, it serves as an eye-opener to what could become a much diminished camping experience for them in the future.
9. Several of my friends are quitting RVing. You can probably relate to why they’re doing so
By Gail Marsh
The end. Yes, I know that’s a strange way to begin an article, but it fits! Many, many of our friends are choosing to throw in the towel on their RV lifestyle. They are giving up RVing for good. They have valid reasons, I think. See if you agree.
8. The future of RVing as many know it is doomed
By Tony Barthel
Somehow, whenever the future of RVing is being discussed, someone calls me or sends an email. While my own crystal ball may be no more polished than anyone else’s, I do have some perspective on what’s ahead for RV enthusiasts. The latest question I got was about the future of RVs in general and, more specifically, Class A diesel pushers. Here are my thoughts.
7. Industry analysts warn of propane “Armageddon” this winter. Be prepared.
RVers who are still using their rigs this winter would be wise to keep a close eye on their propane levels. Propane industry analysts are already warning of an “Armageddon” in the U.S. propane market due to low supply, high demand, and the resulting rocketing prices. Learn more.
6. Are “phantom” campers stealing your campsite?
By Mike Gast
Last spring, I wrote an article about how little strings of computer code called “bots” were beating you to the punch when you’re trying to reserve an RV site at popular camping destinations. Well, there’s another culprit out there stealing your next camping opportunity, and this time it’s your fellow campers. Learn more.
5. Basic RV etiquette that isn’t always talked about, but makes all the difference
By Gail Marsh
We all learned the “magic words” as a kid. Do you want a piece of pie? What are the magic words? “Please” and “thank you.” “Magic words” and other proper manners were taught to most of us as we grew up. In the spirit of “never stop learning new things,” I recently learned a few rules of etiquette about RVing that I hadn’t known before. Here they are.
4. New RVers opting out of lifestyle, some selling their rigs
Longtime RVers have speculated for months that many of the millions of new RVers would soon tire of their new outdoor toy and put them back up for sale. Now we’re hearing that the long-anticipated flow of slightly used RVs back to sales lots may have begun. Learn more.
3. Legislation to ban motorhome and portable generators threatens RVers
A seemingly innocuous air pollution proposal before the California Legislature could ban the sale of portable generators in the state, and have a crippling effect on RVers who rely on them to power their rigs when shore power is not available. Read the rest of the story.
2. “Pathetic quality”: RV dealers are fed up with what manufacturers are producing
If you’re in the market to buy a new RV, you might want to wait a bit. RV dealers on a recent nationwide conference call said the quality of most recreational vehicles now being produced is “pathetic.” “It’s some of the worst stuff I’ve seen in 30 years,” said one longtime RV dealer. “It’s horrendous inside and out. But we have no recourse but to put it on the lot and try to sell it. You take what you can get, and you move on.” Read more.
OUR MOST POPULAR! RV park owner throws in the towel. The business has changed, even shockingly
Andy Zipser, the straight-talking former owner of the Walnuts Hills RV Park in Staunton, Virginia, has sold the business. In this article he explains why he sold, and how the campground business has changed since he bought the park eight years ago. Read this for a better understanding of what will almost certainly be ahead for RVers. Your comments are welcome. This is fascinating reading.
The smallest, most brilliant cutlery organizer for your RV
It’s like this was made for RVs! Usually cutlery organizers take up entire drawers, you know those ones that spread out and take up unnecessary space. This one doesn’t do that! This small compact tray organizes your cutlery in an amazing space-saving way. It fits up to 24 pieces of cutlery, so you’re not losing any space! Check it out and order one for yourself.
New Feature: RV Consumer Support
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you recall that infamous scene from “Blazing Saddles,” you know that there’s a lot of gas floating around these days. Some of the hottest air in the marketplace is on equipment and additives “guaranteed to help you save at the gas pump.” Yep, those highly touted fuel-saving devices. … Continue reading to find out if any of them work.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How would you rate your 2021 year?
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:
Have you ever had something expensive stolen from your campsite? See how more than 1,700 other RVers responded.
Tiny LED button lamp perfect for RV’s small, dark spaces
This 6-pack of tiny, battery-powered LED “Button Lamps” is just what you need for your RV’s closets and storage spaces. The tiny lamp is ultra-bright and has all the power of a normal-sized lamp. Backed with a strong adhesive, these little lamps will stick to any surface. They’re waterproof and good to have in case of an emergency. Read more here.
Can your burning eyes, coughing or worse be blamed on the RV supply chain crisis?
By Scott Linden
As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, the COVID crisis may be endangering RVers even if we’re vaccinated, boosted, socially-distanced and masked up. Despite government and industry efforts to minimize it, a hidden poison lurks in some travel trailers, fifth-wheels, campers and motorhomes. Pandemic-related supply chain problems and questionable regulatory requirements could allow more of this invisible substance to sneak into your rig. Continue reading about this hidden danger.
The Frugal RVer, part one: Save on food, fuel and fire
Over the past two years, many of us have experienced substantial changes in our lives – some voluntary, others forced upon us. One of the changes that has affected everyone in the RV life is rapidly escalating costs. Nearly everyone is becoming acutely aware of the need to economize. Here are some great tips to help you save money.
Our readers’ favorite books, part two
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 two of our “Readers’ favorite books” (and boy, it’s quite a variety again!). Happy reading!
Cherish every Christmas moment, to hold in your memory forever…
By Gail Marsh
When I think of going home for Christmas, all of my senses combine to take me back, if only in my memories of days gone by…. I imagine that I hear Mom singing her favorite Christmas songs. Soon I’m humming along. I hear in my memory the solemn carols forming an incongruous backdrop for the excited squeals of children as they exit the church following Christmas Eve service. Continue reading this touching Christmas remembrance.
VIEW CAMPSITES just like you were driving through the campground. See one you really like? Learn instantly if it’s available and reserve it on the spot at Campground Views.
Here are the best “Dark Sky Parks” to stargaze in the U.S.
There are more than 60 Dark Sky Parks (27 National Parks), communities, and reserves in the U.S. where we can witness the beauty that shines over us at night. To find out why Dark Sky Parks are very important, and learn where some of the best of them are, read this.
Planning on boarding your pet during the holidays? You may want to think again…
The holiday season is a time for family, friends and joyful reunions. Many folks are making plans to travel to make merry with them. … This may mean plans to board your pets. Well, now it’s going to hit your pocketbooks hard. Learn more.
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
• California generator ban – What does it mean for RVers?
• Ask Dave: Can I use tow vehicle battery and jumper cables to supplement my trailer’s house battery?
• Why your local RV dealer won’t honor your warranty
• VW camper to return: “ID. California” officially announced
• ABCs of Full-Time RV Living
It’s best to have two types of smoke detectors in RV
Smoke detectors come in two “flavors.” The most common in RVs is an ionization detector, which quickly picks up on flaring up, flaming fires. The photoelectric type is better to notice smoldering fires. It’s best to have both types in your rig – but check to ensure what you install is “RV approved.”
Easy-to-open hose connection cover
“We have a Montana, and it can sometimes be a pain to open the bottom screw-on hatch cover for the hose connection. To combat this, I have taken a small screw-on screen door handle and bolted it to the cap. Now it’s a lot easier to remove or re-attach the cap, especially at night.” Thanks to Mark B.!
Sewer fitting grip help! Gadget to the rescue!
If you find the bayonet mounts for your sewer hose connections are getting a bit hard to twist off, here’s a tool for you. An adjustable oil filter wrench, made to get a grip around automotive oil filters, can also provide a handy grip and plenty of leverage on the bayonet fitting of your sewer hose, and the termination cap as well. Here’s one we recommend.
How would you like to win a Collapsible Electric Kettle?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 18, 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.
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 and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
Why don’t RV’s house batteries charge when motorhome is plugged into outlet?
Happy Holidays, Dave.
I have a 2019 Gulfstream BT Cruiser 5230B. My two 12-volt house batteries will charge with an onboard Onan 4000 generator or with my 6.8 V-10 engine running. However, the batteries don’t charge up when my MH is plugged into a standard house 110 outlet. Inverters/converters are off, as with any/all appliances. Is my outlet insufficient to keep these batteries charged? Thanks for the assist. —Karl
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Can I tow my Ford F-150 with my Tiffin RV?
• Why so many cables and connections, but only one coax on the TV?
• Should I seal around RV’s windows before looking for a leak?
• How can I get internet service in my RV?
• My trailer needs to lose weight – Can I remove one propane tank?
NEW! Visit Dave’s new forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
What if you could eat moss? It would be nice to have as a snack on the trail! Well, you finally can! With the help of Sasquatch, of course… See what we’re talking about.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Under the Weather pods: A stylish way to stay warm and dry outside
What may look like the individual spacecraft from “Men in Black” that flies off to the planet Dartha is a patented individual pod-like tent that mitigates cold, wind, rain and bone-chilling damp weather. Check these out!
RV Tire Safety
Attention to details is very important regarding tire inflation
Tire expert Roger Marble brings up the sigificance of hearing “the rest of the story” after he ran across an item in an RV magazine from 2008. The author is one of that small group of RV “experts” that make a living providing information on the Internet on just about all things RV. They may be quite knowledgeable about most topics, but sometimes there are important details related to tires that don’t make it into their posts. Read Roger’s advice about the importance of getting all the necessary facts about tire inflation here.
Operating an RV Park
More progress: Concrete is poured, and we have a tractor!
By Machelle James
What an amazing past two weeks we have had! The stamped concrete is almost finished. The crew will come back and power wash and seal it in about a week. They also did a technique that gave it a wood-looking edge that you can see in the pictures. It needs a little more sanding down, but we both absolutely love how it is turning out! … Continue reading about the campground’s progress, and a rather big, soggy problem, here.
Recipe of the Day
Wow, this is an impressive salmon dinner. It’s definitely fancy, so perfect for a special meal like an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or New Year’s Eve. The whiskey sauce is decadently delicious. We would not skimp on the whiskey! It gives the salmon and the sauce a smooth and smoky flavor. The pistachio crust is delicious. Adds a little crunch to the flaky salmon. Baked to perfection, the salmon is juicy and just melts in your mouth.
Sounds like a perfect holiday meal to us! Get the recipe.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“After RVing for 9 years with our Toy Fox Terrier, Gabby, we picked up Mayah on the last stop of a 3-week, 3,000-mile California road trip. Mayah’s first night with us was in our Wildcat 5th wheel. Since that first trip, Mayah now travels with Gabby and us in the Wildcat. Mayah is a blue-eyed, merle-coated Toy Australian Shepherd and is now an adventurous 7-month old who loves to explore the trails with us. Merry Christmas.” —Bill & Karen Smith
Vintage Postcard of the Week
Postcards owned by Colleen and Ed Weum, Pacific Northwest Postcard Club. Read more about their 90,000 postcard collection here.
Microwave plate cover contains splatters, stows flat
How many times have you exploded something in the microwave only to have your significant other complain about your messy habits? Figured it is time for you to get yourself a collapsible microwave cover? This microwave-safe cover collapses for easy storage and takes only a slight press of the hand to lie flat. Multiple lid perforations allow steam to escape while keeping food moist. Learn more here.
A boy is walking around in a carnival and he sees a single man in a booth. He walks up to the man and asks what the booth is for. “Well,” says the man. “I can write your exact weight on this slip of paper. If I get it wrong, I pay you $20. If I get it right, you pay me $20.” The boy looks around and, seeing no scales, agrees. Five minutes later, the man has received $20 from the boy. How?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
The largest National Park in the world is the Northeast Greenland National Park in Greenland. This park covers the entire northeast quadrant of the country, which is about 375,000-square-miles. This is about 44.8 percent of the entire landmass of Greenland. You could sure do a lot of exploring there!
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
Christmas card. “The idea for the Christmas card was conceived in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, the Englishman who drew the sketch for the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black. Cole suggested the idea to Royal Academician John Horsley, who designed the card, which depicted three generations of a family toasting the season with wine. About 1,000 of the cards sold that first year, a figure that would rise to billions.”
Laugh of the Week
Here are a few Christmas jokes to tell friends and family this week:
How do you know Santa is around?
You can always sense his presents.
How did Scrooge win the football game?
The ghost of Christmas passed!
What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!
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, Julianne Crane, 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.
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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