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January 22, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
RV Travel Tech Talks: Be a part of a new concept coming soon
By Emily Woodbury
A couple of weeks ago, when we welcomed you into the new year, I wrote that 2022 wasn’t going to be the year of “talk.” It would be the year of “do.” (Read that essay here.) In order to “do” we’re sort of doing the opposite: We’re pumping our brakes a little bit—slow and steady wins the race, doesn’t it? I’ll explain.
We want to make this website, this newsletter and all of our others, better. So how do we do that? We can’t keep adding a million more projects onto our plates. It’s like adding more leftovers to the fridge every day. That’s not the point! Nobody wants to finish a half-eaten sandwich three days later (ew). Plus, why would we still cook when we have three days of leftovers already? Do you see where this is going? We’re starting at the bottom. We’re making the things we have right now better.
We’re cleaning up the website. We’re going through our categories and tags and advertisers and old articles and code hidden behind more code to speed up the site, to make navigating the site easier, to make more articles available… And there’s no stopping us until we’re the best that we can be! We like being the best!
So, all that being said, while some of us are working in the background to do all of the above (it’s easier said than done, trust us), our incredibly knowledgeable, super friendly, suuuuper funny Q&A Maintenence & Repair expert, Dave Solberg, is working on a special project for you. (You see, while we’re still catching up on leftovers, Dave is cooking up a four-course meal!)
Here’s what Dave has to say about it:
“Hey, we need your help!
Articles have been the mainstay of RVtravel.com for 20+ years. They’re a good source of information and education and will continue to be. Recently we had a writers’ meeting via Zoom to discuss topics and ideas for future articles. The discussion turned into an unbelievable wealth of information and one of the writers said, ‘We should have hit the record button and posted this!’
He was right, we should have! So… the idea bloomed. We’ve decided to test a new concept of an ‘RV Travel Tech Talks’, which is not the official title… yet!”
Continue reading to learn more about this—he’ll need your help!
Visit with RVtravel.com at Quartzsite!
If you plan to attend the giant Quartzsite (Ariz.,) RV Show that starts tomorrow (Jan. 22), be sure to stop by to meet our own Tony Barthel and his wife, Peggy, who will be watching over our RVtravel.com booth. It’s also the media information center, where Tony and Peggy will provide information about the show to bloggers, vloggers and other media. The booth is on the midway on the north side of the big tent. We’ll have business card-sized RVT subscription cards, so ask Tony and Peggy for a handful to give to your friends.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Thor unveils electric trailer, motorhome concepts at Florida RV show
• Tampa RV Show sets new first-day record
• Why a campground on the cheap is indicative of trouble on the Front Range
• Replacing mobile home parks with RV resorts has a human cost
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!
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.
Are we only worth “free” or are we deserving of your “voluntary subscription?” Learn more or donate.
Last week’s Tip of the Day highlights in RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• In memory of Martin Luther King Jr.—A historic site tells an important story
• Brilliant camping hacks and tips using steel wool
• Where to store dirty laundry in the RV
• Can RVers buy in bulk? While in an RV? Really?
• RVer attractions: Low advertising budget equals low cost to visit
Today’s RV review… doesn’t exist!
Sorry, folks. No RV review today. Tony is at Quartzsite busily setting up our RVtravel.com media booth (just outside the big show tent) for the Quartzsite RV Show, January 22–30, so he’s a bit tied up at the moment. You can catch up on his reviews from last week below, or go back and reread every review he’s ever posted here (he’d want you to do that, trust us). He’ll be back with his reviews on Monday, so make sure you’re signed up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter to see ’em!
Last week’s reviews:
• Coachmen Chaparral 336TSIK
• Coachmen Prism 24FS
• Winnebago all-electric motorhome concept, the e-RV, just announced at the Florida RV SuperShow
• Jayco Jay Flight Octane 277
• 2022 Fleetwood Bounder 35GL
NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony at his new Forum on RVtravel.com.
Chat with your favorite writers on our RVtravel.com Forums
Most RVtravel.com writers are getting their own forums, where readers can discuss their articles with them. Here are some 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 is a national authority on RV tires.
• Dr. Karel Carnohan (Ask the Pet Vet)
Dr. Karel is here to answer questions about your travel companions!
• Gail Marsh (RV Tricks & Tips)
Learn and share tips and tricks for RVing with Gail!
• Nanci Dixon (Crowded Campgrounds)
Join Nanci to discuss the difficulty in finding campsites.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
TRIVIA: Can you think of a widely used product whose name is an anagram of its function? Think about it, then find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter in today’s trivia.
Let’s make Synfuel. It’s time for Americans to adopt and produce this fuel
By Randall Brink
[This is a continuation of last week’s topic: “The Frugal RVer: Want cheap diesel fuel? Make your own!“] Most RV travelers do not have to refer to the data to know that fuel prices are roughly twice as high as last year. Some states like California are seeing a 137 percent increase. The cause of this is well-known too: maladroit, partisan political decisions to shut down crude oil transportation and disrupt domestic petroleum output, resulting in a reversion to predominantly foreign oil exports—all promulgated within the Washington, D.C., beltway. Continue reading.
The #1 MOST important thing to do BEFORE starting an RV remodel
By Cheri Sicard
Surprisingly, I have never seen this important bit of RV remodel advice mentioned in any of the hundreds of articles I’ve read and videos I’ve watched on the topic. But after owning RVs for most of my life, and especially after remodeling two of them, I KNOW for a fact that it is essential. I also know from experience it can save you a lot of time and money. Not to mention aggravation. Find out what this MOST important thing is here.
A “newbie’s” shifting perspective on RV etiquette
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
“I am not a new “newbie,” but my perspective on RV etiquette is shifting. In 1999, I purchased a 26’ Winnebago Brave with the express purpose of traveling back and forth from California, where I had a home, and Kansas, where I was attending veterinary school. I never used the Winnie for recreational travel but enjoyed using it when I needed to. …” Continue reading about Dr. Karel’s recent observations about what has changed (or not) about RVing and RVers. Here’s her two cents’ worth.
Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway: Must-see out-of-this-world attractions and pit stops (part two)
By Cheri Sicard
For my money, this kitschy road trip’s best attraction was the ability to spend the night in my RV on Nevada’s Extraterrestial Highway, which I wrote about last week. The unparalleled solitude and star watching of the night sky coupled with the mystery and intrigue of stories of UFOs and aliens made for a unique camping experience. Beyond that, however, there are a few stops you should make if you’re taking this trip yourself. Learn about a bunch of them here.
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Dump your holding tanks from inside your RV
• Appreciate—but don’t mess with—the desert coyote
• Stranded on the side of the road, should you trust a stranger’s help?
• Create a cozy “entryway” by transforming your RV’s dash
What part of this newsletter do you look forward to the most?
In other words, what makes you excited to open and read this newsletter every weekend? Please take a moment to answer, you’ll help us improve this newsletter. Thanks!
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
How many slide outs does your current RV have? What do you think was the most popular answer? It may surprise you. Find out here.
Gyms and truck stops offer exercise and showers on the road—great for boondockers
If you’re traveling cross-country or boondocking and need access to a shower or a chance to stretch those stiff driving muscles, a great spot can be the local fitness clubs or gyms along the way. Great idea!
The good, the bad, and the funny… Surprises are part of the RV lifestyle
Read about some good, bad and funny surprises encountered by Gail Marsh and her hubby, especially during their early RVing days. We’ll bet you can relate to most of these, and have some of your own experiences to share. Read about some of their surprises (i.e., learning experiences) here.
No pickup to pull fifth wheel? No problem!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Got an RV to pull but don’t have the needed equipment? Improvise! This fellow evidently didn’t have a pickup to pull his fifth wheel. Lacking in equipment, he made up for it with imagination. … In case you missed this a few months ago, you need to check this out.
How it Happened: You can thank the military for the drive-thru window
By Gail Marsh
I’m always curious (and in awe) about inventors. You know, the folks who see a problem and come up with a creative and workable solution. What amazing minds! Sometimes the most common daily convenience was born out of a real need. Take for instance the fast-food restaurant drive-thru window. Find out how the military fits in here.
Ghost Town Trails: Ballarat, California
By Dave Helgeson
One of the many activities my wife and I like to partake in while RVing is exploring ghost towns, abandoned mining camps and other forgotten places. At the urging of Chuck Woodbury, I am turning our experiences into a monthly column. In each entry, I will be sharing a bit of history about the site, our exploration of the site, directions so you too can visit and places to camp nearby. Regardless of whether you are an adventurous RVer that will follow in our footsteps or will follow along from your easy chair, it is my hope you will gain knowledge and/or enjoyment from this column. We will start our adventure by visiting Ballarat, California.
The world’s largest tree is being eaten alive
Located in the Wasatch Mountains on Utah Route 25 lives a stand of quaking aspens, Utah’s state tree. Nicknamed Pando (Latin for “I spread”), it’s a grove of individual male quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) — a single organism with identical genetic markers and, it’s assumed, a massive underground root system. The colony has called the Fishlake National Forest home for around 14,000 years. That makes it one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. With an estimated 47,000 trees spreading over 106 acres, Pando weighs in at approximately 13 million pounds, earning it the “world’s largest organism by weight” title. Why is its survival threatened? Find out in this very interesting post by Dale Wade. Find out in this very interesting post by Dale Wade.
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
• The winter of their discontent: Many proposed RV parks facing stiff public opposition
• Self-powered trailers speak to the future of EV towing
• Brilliant camping hacks and tips using steel wool
• Ask Dave: Can I connect a portable propane tank to my RV’s outside quick propane connect?
• Heading for Tampa or another winter RV show? Here are a few warnings to consider
How would you like to win a George Foreman Grill?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 22, 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.
The neatest RV “safe” we’ve ever seen…
Fear losing your keys? There’s no perfect place to hide your keys in your campsite or RV that thieves can’t find. But HitchSafe may solve that problem. The HitchSafe slides into your hitch receiver and locks. When open it is large enough for not only keys, but also an emergency credit card, cash or driver’s license. Then hide it with an ordinary-looking dust cover. Read more about it here.
“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.
The Best RV Trip Planner Apps and Tools. Everything you need to help plan your trip is here.
RV Maintenance Log Book keeps track of everything for you!
This RV maintenance logbook allows you to document and track all repairs and work done on your RV. If you bought your RV used, wouldn’t this have been nice to have with the sale?! Keep track of everything in your RV – all the work done on it (and where and when), specific part models, your favorite black tank cleaner, the lightbulb bases you use, paints and fabrics, and much more. This will be a lifesaver down the road. 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.
Can my RV battery overcharge with solar?
With solar, can your battery overcharge? I have a battery disconnect. Should I use that rather than continuously charging when in storage in between trips? Thank you. —Thomas
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Stinky black water tank smells coming into the bathroom. Help!
• Why does only one side of the circuit breaker work with 50-15 amp dogbone?
• Can I connect a portable propane tank to my RV’s outside quick propane connect?
• How can I improve the ride of my 2016 Thor A.C.E.?
• Renovating 2006 Holiday Rambler—Do it need a moisture barrier?
JOIN DAVE TODAY AND TOMORROW for educational seminars at the Charlotte RV Show. Learn more.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
No more full-body workouts just to make your RV’s bed. Upgrade to a cool bedding system like this
By Gail Marsh
Who needs a gym? Or a personal trainer? Heck, I don’t even need to walk the recommended 30 minutes a day. All I need to do is attempt to change the sheets on our RV’s bed! Oh, the climbing and scootching; the pushing and tugging! I feel like an acrobat as I twist and stretch my arms and legs in an effort to wrangle the fitted sheet into place over the mattress. Continue reading for a possible solution.
The best kitchen sink strainer – no more odors or clogs!
If you’re unfamiliar with the revolutionary Kitchen SinkShroom, you’ll want to introduce yourself. This popular sink strainer prevents anything from going down your kitchen sink’s drain (in your house or RV). Say goodbye to odors and clogs – the SinkShroom won’t let that happen. Read more about it and its partner, the TubShroom, here, or order one here.
with Mike Sokol
How to check 30-amp outlet polarity
Mike discusses 30-amp outlets, what reverse polarity is and how it can occur, and how to check for proper polarity. Also included is his recent video showing several ways to test a 30-amp campground pedestal for correct polarity. You won’t want to miss this.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session: Space heaters: Don’t start a fire in your RV
Join Mike Sokol for a 60-minute Zoom interview next Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m. EST, featuring live questions from our Quartzsite booth with Tony Barthel. Wednesday Mike will be discussing surge protectors, and Friday he’ll be discussing lithium battery upgrades. More info to come.
RV Tire Safety
Question about LTX vs. Agilis line of Michelin tires
From an Airstream forum: “I am replacing Michelin LT225/75R/16/MS2 tires on my Airstream Serenity 28. I am confused. I am told by the tire dealer that the Agilis CrossClimate has a rough ride. I also read that the LTX tire in not enough for towing. Can anybody help staighten me out? Thanks.” Read Roger Marble’s explanation.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
For Lovers Only…
Listen up, romantics. If you have a special someone you’d like to surprise with a secret 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.
Here are a couple of responses.
To: Tractor Man
From: Chicken Lady
“Next to farming with you, I love camping in our RV, Queen B! Love always.”
To: Dog Man
“Thank you for 31 wonderful years and two amazing kids. Can’t wait to embark on our exciting adventures with EE.”
with Karel Carnohan, DVM
Can I make homemade dog food, and how?
Dear Dr. Karel,
Do you have any recommendations for ingredients for homemade dog food? I started feeding our 13-year-old Welsh Terrier what I’m told is “human grade” freeze-dried food. It’s very expensive and I thought I could make his food for (hopefully) less cost. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. —Michael and Joey
NEW! Have a question about traveling with your pet? Ask Dr. Karel on her new Ask the Pet Vet Forum.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Sometimes things like this can be tacky, but we think these are actually quite nice looking! See if you agree.
RV Short Stop
Yume Japanese Gardens in Tucson
By Julianne G. Crane
The Yume Japanese Gardens intrigue visitors because they are so different from Western gardens in design, elements and purpose. RV snowbirds frequently head for the Gardens for a peaceful winter stopover. Eight separate garden settings focus on different facets of the 1,000-year-old Japanese art form. The gardens strive for a balance of natural and human-made beauty. … Continue reading about this beautiful location and upcoming events here.
RV Fire Safety
Check the flue after storing RV
If you store your coach, be sure to check the flue before starting your refrigerator on propane. Birds and insects can build nests and clog the flue, causing a fire or excess carbon monoxide to enter your coach. —Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Delicious and creamy, this is an impressive pasta dinner that comes together very easy. I used large rigatoni which allowed for ample cheese sauce coverage. Expect big smiles on everyone’s face when they dig in.
Okay, now this is what we’re talking about! And hey, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching —this could be the perfect recipe for a special evening! Get it here.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
• Orange Cream Cheese Bread
• Bacon Bleu Brussels Sprouts With Mustard Sauce
• Cindy’s Turkey Bacon Feta Wraps
• Orzo and Spinach Salad
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is Hoot. He’s a Sheepadoodle who travels with us in our diesel pusher. His name is very descriptive of his personality.” —Michael Henderson
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.
Helpful book for camping areas managed by the NPS
This recently published book from The Ultimate Public Campground Project describes 2,241 camping areas across the United States that are managed by the National Park Service. If you’re looking for new places to camp, this is the book for you. The project has been growing since 2008 and now has a website and an app too. Learn more or order.
The number 8,549,176,320 is a unique number. What is so special about it?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Can you think of a widely used product whose name is an anagram of its function? It’s Spandex! The stretchy synthetic material was named because of what it does: expands. Spandex is an anagram, a shuffling of letters of “expands.”
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
woman. “Etymologically, woman has no connection with man. The word woman derives not from man, but from the Old English wif-man, wif meaning ‘female’ and man meaning ‘human being.” Man derives from the Old English mannian meaning the same.”
Laugh of the Week
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, Andy Zipser, 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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