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January 8, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
A new year means new things for RVtravel.com
By Emily Woodbury
Sometimes it’s extremely challenging having a full-time staff of only four (a handful of others are part-time, who we appreciate just as much, by the way). If you know our publisher, Chuck Woodbury (my dad), you know ideas flow out of him like a waterfall – I swear the guy writes down ideas in his sleep. How do we implement all those ideas with a staff of four? We need 400!
December, the end of the year, is a slow time for us. We’re happy to see people traveling again, spending time with friends and family, attending holiday events that were maybe absent in 2020. But still… we look at our website traffic with one eye closed and hope and pray some of you are out there reading our words, perhaps with a candy cane en-mouth.
But January 1 comes around and oh, there’s a little spike. January 2? A little higher of a spike! January 3rd? Even higher! Now, January 8th, and we’re soaring! Woohoo – you’re back! And, now that we’ve finally digested our holiday meals and caught up on a bit of much-needed rest, we’re back too!
A new year means new things for RVtravel.com. We’re motivated. We’re not letting a small number of employees stop us, no way! If you know us, you know we work hard for you. Think about it: There are more than 13,000 articles on this itty bitty website. We publish 7-14 newsletters each week! Four people do that! Four! (With the help of those part-time employees too, of course. And did we mention we wouldn’t be here at all without our incredible team of writers?) You get the point.
Anyway, this is a year of “doing” for RVtravel.com. No more chit-chat. We’re taking Chuck’s and the rest of our staffs’ ideas and running with ’em. (Well, if Chuck’s ideas are a waterfall we may have to white-water-raft with them downstream. But that’s okay too.)
The first new idea we’re implementing is something Chuck use to do back in his Out West days – it’s called For Lovers Only. Listen up, romantics. If you have a special someone you’d like to surprise with a message right here on this website (could be your wife, husband, partner, child, neighbor, friend, etc.) submit it to us here. Don’t use their real names, use a special name that only they’ll recognize. Oh, how fun it will be when they read it! You’ll make their day! We’ll feature these in our upcoming newsletters, so keep your eyes open.
Oh, and in other big news. We’ve redesigned our homepage. When you’re done reading the newsletter today, check it out. It looks good, doesn’t it? Now you can check in throughout the week and get all the latest RVing news right away.
Oh, one last thing. If you have any ideas on how we can improve this website, or have suggestions of what topics you’d like us to write about, contact us here. This is our year and we’re thrilled to have you along.
Now, can someone tighten my life jacket, please?
VISIT RVTRAVEL.COM IN QUARTZSITE!
Please visit RVtravel.com at the giant Quartzsite RV Show, coming January 22-30 in the Snowbird Capital of America, Quartzsite, Arizona. Our Tony Barthel and his wife, Peggy, will be holding down our booth outside the big tent, hosting the media and (hopefully) meeting many of our readers. Be sure to enter our contest where you can win swell prizes including two SoftStartRVs (a $638 value) and a DuraLite 100-watt portable solar kit from Go Power! (a $525 value). “Be there or be square!”
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Resale prices for RVs drop for first time in months
• Tires 2022: Prices jump while shortage fears wane
• Cats causing headaches for Elon Musk’s Starlink WiFi system
• GM faces massive lawsuit alleging faulty eight-speed transmissions
• RV Review: A sneak peek at Tiffin’s Class B, the Cahaba
• Campground Crowding: Need a site? Run an ad for one – it worked for these readers
• Josh the RV Nerd still creating videos after sale of Haylett RV
PLUS: Lots more RVing-related stories • 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!
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Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• It’s time to plan 2022 RV group trips now! Don’t wait!
• Record-breaking winter storms sweep across U.S. What RVers need to know to keep their pets safe
• Don’t waste any wall space – maximize it with canvas cubbies
• RVing safety: Everything you should know about taking safety precautions when you travel
• How to fix misaligned RV cabinet doors
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the BruderX EXP-4, an overlanding champion from Down Under. He writes, “The interest in overlanding vehicles is definitely increasing with the idea that you can go places to avoid the crowds, so long as you don’t bring them with you. And there are definitely places where you can go. A trailer like this, hooked to a very capable off-road vehicle, might be a fun way to see some places most folks never get to. ” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:
• 2022 Tiffin Wayfarer 25 RW
• Cherokee Grey Wolf 24JS
• 2022 Coachmen Freedom Express Ultra Lite 274RKS
• Grech RV Strada Tour – an ultra-luxurious Class B
• 2022 Forest River Hemisphere Elite 36FL, front living fifth wheels compared
NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony at his new Forum on RVtravel.com.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Would you rather factory order your next RV?
By Mike Gast
Remember when your dad wanted to buy a brand-new car? Your parents would go to a dealership, pore over brochures and then “factory order” the exact car with the right features in the color they wanted. Then, they’d wait a few months for it to come from the factory. Manufacturers are now hoping that Americans will return to the old way of buying vehicles. … It doesn’t take much imagination to see that what works for car and truck manufacturers might work even better for RV makers. Learn more.
RV Hacks, Tips, & Tricks
By Gail Marsh
No matter if you’re a long-time pro at RVing or just starting out, the following RV hacks, tips and tricks are sure to make your RV trips easier, more comfortable, and hopefully more enjoyable. The following ideas may need to be implemented by purchasing an item or two from your local store. In many cases, however, you probably have the needed items in your home already. Curious? Then read on to discover some very useful RV tricks and tips!
Boondocking or boondoggle? Dispersed camping simply disperses our messes
By Andy Zipser
[I]t’s a fact that even the most conscientious boondockers will be unable to avoid scarring the land on which they’re camping. Not when they’re driving 5,000- to 25,000-pound wheeled houses onto unpaved and uncleared ground, squatting in one place for five or seven days – if not longer – until they’re forced to move on in search of fresh water or a dump station. And while it may seem like there’s an awful lot of land out there for the boondockers to settle on, and so whatever damage they may inflict will be dispersed and only minimally visible, in reality, the boondocker population is exploding and the land they’re seeking is much more limited than they imagine. Read more.
Big boo-boo! The owner of this fifth wheel wishes he took a different route!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Yep, it’s that time of the year – the one where you wish you were a snowbird. We’re not sure how this one came about, but we’re sure it’ll be a long time before this guy forgets about his really high-centered 5er. Check this out.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
How easy is it for you to spend a couple of days alone?
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:
How is your credit rating? What do you think the majority said? See how nearly 2,000 other RVers answered.
RV BUYING AND LEMON LAWS
5 of the most important questions to ask before you buy your next RV
By Ron Burdge, RV Lemon Law Attorney
When you get ready to buy an RV, there are five questions you should always ask the dealer first, before you sign anything at all. Find out what they are here. Very important information.
Data reveals America’s most dangerous National Parks
Most of us consider National Parks to be safe places. And, for the most part they are. But not always. Here’s a short rundown of the most dangerous National Parks in the USA based on the number of search and rescue missions performed in each between 2018 and 2020.
Video: Comparison between Ford F-150 and F-250 trucks
This video from PRN_TestDrive will be of interest if you would like to better understand the differences between Ford’s 1/2-ton light duty F-150 truck and the 3/4-ton heavy duty or Super Duty F-250 models. Watch the informative video here.
Snowbound Storytelling: What do snowbirds do when they can’t flee south?
By Rod Andrew
As I write, I’m a snowbound snowbird, sitting at my dining room table, looking over a frozen river at a snow-covered hillside. The view could be a Christmas card scene and, until New Year, we enjoy it. But it is cold and we prefer warmth. … Continue reading this hilarious account of a few days in the frozen north by a snowbound snowbird with a terrific sense of humor – and admire Rod’s beautiful pictures.
Unusual souvenirs across the U.S. prompt one question: Why?!
By Gail Marsh
It’s the last day of your trip and you realize you still haven’t purchased a souvenir. Hubby and I usually opt for a T-shirt, locally crafted Christmas ornament, or a refrigerator magnet featuring a local landmark. It doesn’t matter that the magnet won’t stick to our stainless-steel RV refrigerator. It’s the last day to get something. Anything! … Read about some unusual souvenirs here. Do you have any that are weirder? Let us know in the comments.
Is this your RV?
Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors as they move about the country.
Popular articles from last week
• Ghost Town shootout puts RV campgrounds in the crosshairs
• Will a new player in the campground franchising business change RVing?
• Prospecting: A fun and profitable hobby for RVers
• RV dealers cheated customers, hit with fine, orders from NY state
• Campground Crowding: RVers wanted to leave campsite early, give site to another. Office staff said “no,” and ‘We have dozens of lawyers’”
How would you like to win a set of Emergency Road Flares?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 8, 2022) 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.
Stop guessing! This water meter won’t let you overfill tanks
Kate Doherty has found a way to make sure you won’t accidentally overfill your tanks. She uses the Save A Drop P3 Water Meter to add water to her black water tank with precise measurements each time. Read more about it here, then you’ll surely want to order one for yourself.
“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 ??????
A certain part of your RV (which shall remain mysterious!) gets very dirty and has a lot of bacteria. This eliminates that problem!
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.
Dave offers advice about storing a motorhome over the winter
An RVtravel.com reader asked Dave for advice about how to prepare his RV for storage during the winter season. In this short video, he discusses winterizing the RV and how to store batteries to avoid ruining them – and that applies to the house and engine batteries. And he has other advice. Click the video below to play.
Attend Dave’s free seminars at this weekend’s Greensboro, NC, RV Show at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Will my engine battery provide a boost to run my slide room?
• How do I eliminate “poop pyramids” in the black tank?
• The wood in my RV’s roof is separating. What can I do?
• I have to manually push my slide out with the help of a drill. Why?
• Can I start my generator when the RV is plugged into shore power?
NEW! Visit Dave’s new forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Keep your trailer connectors protected and handy
Whenever you experience any kind of failure it’s always at the worst time possible. For example, if the connectors that link your trailer to your tow vehicle get dropped in the mud and refuse to make a connection, that’s always going to be when you’re in the middle of nowhere where you can’t resolve the situation. Here’s a simple, inexpensive solution.
Did you know we have an entire newsletter dedicated to RV gadgets and gizmos called the Great RV Accessories Newsletter? It’s true, and the second installment comes out today! Read it here then subscribe.
Healthy cooking for two: The perfect cookbook for 2022
This healthy-eating cookbook has 175 simple and delicious recipes to prepare for two. It’s the perfect way to get healthy for the new year without sacrificing any flavor. It also guides you on how to shop for and plan out meals, and even offers tips on how to budget at the grocery store. Teriyaki salmon, anyone? Or how about jerk pork with mango salsa? Yuuuumy! Learn more or order.
with Mike Sokol
How much energy do you need to power RV appliances? Part 2
After more testing, Mike explains how there’s a significant energy price to pay for the convenience of inverters when running appliances, such as a portable Vitrifrigo fridge. Therefore, while boondocking, you should run any small appliances from 12 volts DC rather than 120 volts AC from the inverter. Your RV battery could last up to twice as long on a single charge while boondocking. Read all about it here.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: How to send a virtual recipe to distant loved ones
RV Tire Safety
with Roger Marble
“What’s the best tire for my trailer?” We have all probably seen this question on an RV forum or two. … Read Roger’s recommendation here.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
A gadget that makes breakfast sandwiches for you? Yup!
This incredible breakfast sandwich maker cooks your custom sandwich in just five minutes! Perfect for an easy, on-the-go breakfast or lunch. All you have to do is add your bread, an egg, your meat, veggie and cheese of choice, press the maker into action and voila – the perfect warm, melty, toasted breakfast sandwich pops out. They have a single maker or a double if there are two of you.
RV Short Stop
Notorious Yuma Territorial Prison
By Julianne G. Crane
The notorious Yuma Territorial Prison is a popular RV Short Stop for thousands of snowbirds each winter. This fascinating historic tourist attraction is only a short distance from I-8. There is a museum and visitor center, in addition to original preserved buildings and other features. Learn more.
RV Fire Safety
RV battery safety
Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep flame, cigarettes, and sparks away. Be sure your battery compartment is properly vented. Keep vent caps tight and level. Check your battery monthly. Replace swollen batteries immediately. Use extreme care when handling batteries – they can explode. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
This Buffalo chicken sandwich is so good your guests will never guess how super easy it is to make. It’s like wings and a hoagie all rolled into one. If you love Buffalo sauce, you’ll love this sandwich for watching football. Dip in more Buffalo sauce, ranch, or bleu cheese. Any leftovers, you can turn the shredded meat into a Buffalo chicken dip by adding cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese.
We need a napkin – we’re drooling! Get the recipe.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Easy Healthy Banana Bread
• Turkey Tortilla Soup
• Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
• Keto-Friendly Chicken Parm
• Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Glaze
Museum of the Week
Zippo/Case Museum & Flagship Store
If you’ve ever owned or collected Zippo lighters, this museum will be of interest to you. The Zippo/Case Museum & Flagship Store opened in 1997 and has everything Zippo-related: large art installations made from the lighters, original artworks, and, the main draw, a private look into “The World Famous Zippo Clinic” where broken Zippos are sent to be repaired. Oh, and this place has a great gift shop. Visit the official museum website to plan your visit.
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.
BIRDWATCHING FOR RVERS
Have you ever been lost for 5,000 miles? This Steller’s sea eagle has!
By Dale Wade
Have you ever gotten lost? Did you follow that GPS through a wrong turn? If so, did you wind up 5,000 miles from home? I think not, but that happened to a Steller’s sea eagle. Read about this bird’s amazing, and ongoing, journey here.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“Max, Mia, and Bear. They are part Husky and will get to a maximum weight of 25 lbs. This year will be their first time traveling but they get car sick and the Vet is trying different medications to keep them healthy. Easily trained, ring a bell to go out, and lay down with a snap of the fingers. Treats are a must. And they love the cat who rides Bear’s back.” —Timothy Stitzel [An editor wants to know if they’re real. 😉 ]
A Year of Us: One question a day for couples is lots of fun
Having a journal like this is such a wonderful way to bond with your partner. It only takes a few minutes to fill out each day, and it will be something you’ll be so happy to look back on years down the road. A Year of Us: A Couples Journal, asks daily questions that spark everyday conversations. Kick start 2022 with something like this. 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.
Your sock drawer only contains 18 white socks and 18 blue socks. How many times do you need to reach inside the drawer and take out a sock to guarantee a matching pair?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
New, innovative way to explore campsites virtually
Now, “drive” through campgrounds virtually – just like with Google Street View. Explore campsites from all angles. See one you like? Click and reserve it right on the spot. Watch a demo. Learn more.
The phrase “See you later, Alligator” is a reference to swing music fans. The phrase originated in the 1930s where, in jazz and swing communities in Harlem, an alligator was a reference to a well-dressed fan of jazz and swing music (probably because of the popularity of alligator skin clothing and accessories like shoes and belts). This phrase was an insider’s nod.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
goodbye. “Goodbye derives from the word God be with you, its first recorded use in a 1573 letter. Earlier forms of God be with you were God be wy you, godbwye, god bwy ye and good-b’wy. Why then is good instead of god in the current expression? Probably because, most etymologists agree, the new world’s formation was influenced by the expression good day.”
Laugh of the Week
Q: Why do they call them “heated seats”?
A: Because “rear defroster” was already taken.
Thanks for the laugh, Russ De Maris!
Leave with a song from the past
For all you country fans, one of the most famous chart toppers of all time – from 1982, Willie Nelson singing “You Were Always On My Mind.”
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Scott Linden, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting and Karel Carnohan, DVM. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady, Mark Gorrie. 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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