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January 29, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
By Chuck Woodbury
Afriend of mine was starting an online business that would help RVers learn to maintain and repair their RVs. He visited the national headquarters of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) to see if it might wish to get involved.
He spoke to the then-president and a vice president. He had no sooner begun explaining his new business when one of them remarked:
“RVs don’t break down. RV roofs don’t leak.”
When my friend told me about this conversation I asked him, “They were kidding, right?” He said, “No, they said it many times.”
If you understand the mission of the RVIA, which receives its support primarily from RV manufacturers, you realize the statement isn’t surprising. The RVIA exists to promote the sale of RVs. It can, in no way, intentionally cast a negative light on RVs or the lifestyle.
The RVIA carries out its mission largely by running ads that glorify the RV experience — “Go where you want, when you want.” The RVs they feature are in incredibly beautiful settings. The RVIA and manufacturers pay (in money or perks) “content creators” (many, if not most, who have never stepped in an RV) and “influencers” to write and plant stories, and produce videos that glorify RVing. We get pitched literally every day to use these (sometimes with an offer of cash)! We trash the emails.
The RVIA will never utter a word about how RVs are “perfect burning machines” — that once they catch fire they’re toast within minutes. The pathetic little fire extinguishers manufacturers install in their inexpensive RVs are fire-fighting peashooters. The RVIA, through its GoRVing.com, will never run an ad or commercial showing RVers camping in a Walmart parking lot (even though many thousands do on any given day).
The RVIA will never mention that finding a campsite these days on the fly is very often impossible and getting worse all the time. Want to go “where you want, when you want”? Then plan plenty of stays at Walmart. Or make your campground reservations a year ahead and be a slave to a schedule.
The RVIA does not educate consumers about the dangers of “hot skin conditions,” whereby someone can be killed by just touching their RV under certain conditions. They don’t tell people that some RVs are manufactured in such a way that simply adding the weight of a driver, passenger and a full tank of gas and water will dangerously overload the vehicle. The RVIA will never advise consumers to check the CCC (cargo carrying capacity) of RVs, some of which can’t carry any meaningful cargo without being overweight. See below.
The RVIA will never mention the crisis of “houseless” people living in beater-RVs on city streets. I have never heard about the industry devoting any money, time or energy to help improve these often dreadful, dangerous “mobile Hoovervilles.”
ABOVE: This 2018 motorhome can hold 706 pounds of weight before it’s overloaded, and thus dangerous to drive. That “Cargo Carrying Capacity” will be decreased by the weight of passengers, fuel, fresh water, and any belongings brought aboard. So figure 350 pounds for two passengers, a full tank of fuel (504 pounds) and let’s say half a tank of fresh water (210 pounds). That’s 1,064 pounds, or 358 pounds overweight before loading a single personal belonging. So if a family of four goes on a trip, how far overloaded might the coach be? How many RVers buy a coach like this without knowing the CCC?
ARE WE TOO NEGATIVE?
We at RVtravel.com do discuss these things. Some readers complain we are “too negative.” No, we’re not purposely negative: We just provide an alternative voice to all the B.S. being churned out by the RVIA, manufacturers, Camping World and all the websites that are funded through advertising by major RV businesses. (We receive only about 10% of our total revenue from paid advertising, most mom-and-pop operations.)
WE SAVE LIVES AND FINANCIAL HEARTACHE
We know from our letters that our advice has saved lives (one example). We know we have prevented new buyers from financing cheap RVs for 15 or 20 years, when in five to ten years their RVs will often be junk they can’t afford to fix that will sit in their backyards gathering dust (while the monthly payments continue).
Camping World is currently advertising entry level RVs for $3.22 a day, financed at about 7 percent for 15 years! That’s 5,475 days, by the way. And, let’s be real: Triple that $3.22 a day (at the very least) for a realistic figure of what that RV will really costs (to register, insure, maintain and sometimes store). Oh, there are camping fees, too.
Even though this website is doing well, it’s increasingly a challenge for us to stand alone amid a barrage of new RV websites written by formula by “content creators” (many of whom, perhaps most, have never stepped inside an RV) to attain favorable Google rankings (and thus earn more money). We’re all vying for the same eyeballs.
I personally have lost industry friends because of RVtravel.com’s honestly. Other “friends” no longer stay in touch. They are embedded in the industry and do not appreciate anyone rocking the boat.
WHAT A SHAME!
There is no national “RVers” association — one whose mission is to look out for you and me. How can that be, I wonder, when it is so badly needed? We’ve tried, but don’t have the resources to make it happen. If I were 20 years younger, I’d push as hard as I could. But my energy, I hate to admit, is waning. For now, I believe, RVtravel.com is as close as it gets to being a watchdog for RVers. As long as I am involved we will continue to pledge our allegiance to you and other RVers, not the industry for it money.
If you believe in our mission, please consider helping support us with a voluntary subscription. Only 4 percent of you do, and I’m telling you, it’s a huge help. The other 96 percent of you benefit from what we provide, but do not feel compelled to pitch in. But thank goodness for those who do, for you provide the baseline income that allows us to remain free of editorial pressure from commercial interests that would blackball us in a flash if we wrote the “wrong” thing.
If you know someone who is planning to buy an RV, please urge them to sign up to receive one or more of our free newsletters.
Be safe out there.
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Campground Crowding: Actually, campgrounds aren’t crowded. What’s going on?
• Catalytic converter theft rampant; costly repair for truck owners
• Buying or selling a used RV? Here’s the latest on prices
• RV manufacturers did set new record in 2021
• 70% of last year’s campers say they will try it again in 2022
• New pickup truck prices skyrocket, except for 10 “cheap” options
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
• Bucking the trend: Heading north for the winter (Part two)
• Dead RV battery issue leaves owner in the dark
• You MUST have a set of microfiber cloths in your RV. You can do SO much with them
• RV Mods: A place to carry your “grass carpet”
• Don’t trip the breaker. Colored sticker dots save the day
Today’s RV review…
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the new Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BSDS. He writes, “With a tremendous amount of interior cabinet and drawer space and a really usable floor plan, I like this rig quite a bit. And the qualities of the Flagstaff and Rockwood line really have been demonstrably better than a lot of what I’ve seen out there.” Read more.
Last week’s reviews:
• American Coach American Eagle 45E
• Cherokee Wolf Pup 16FQBL
• Reader prefers Coachmen’s Apex Ultra-Lite 300BHS
• Keystone Montana 3791RD totally redone by Cortni Armstrong, The Flipping Nomad
• East to West Alta 2350KRK
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!
Finding a good service department is one of the most important parts of RVing
By Gail Marsh
We all have our “must-have” lists when purchasing a big-ticket item. We use these lists because they help narrow down our choices when, say, buying an RV. You may not want the same features on your RV that I do. That’s okay. Everyone is different. But one feature that all RV owners will undoubtedly want (and need eventually) is a good service department. Is that “must-have” on your list? It should be! Find out why, and how to find one, here.
Is your RV ready for an emergency? Follow these steps to make sure
By Randall Brink
Most RVers view their motorhomes as a route to adventure—the open road—free to roam where and when we please. Some take a more practical view and see their RV as a full-time home, whether roaming or stationary. Likely few of us may have considered that our motorhomes are also an asset in the event of a major unforeseen event…. Is your RV ready for an emergency? Get some good tips here.
Overheard comments by salespeople and consumers at the Florida RV SuperShow
By Gail Marsh
You can tell quite a bit about an industry by attending a large show like the Florida RV SuperShow this past week in Tampa, Florida. … What I found most interesting, aside from the electric prototype RVs, rugged off-road rigs, and the sheer number of different manufacturers present, were the comments I overheard. Here are just a few things I heard while walking through the event. … These are very telling, and some are very funny.
Modern prospecting equipment for the RVer
By Randall Brink
In my first installment of this prospecting series we covered essential equipment and where best to dig. … Here, we’ll go over some additional prospecting equipment and tools to unearth gold and wash gravels in those old, dry deposits. Read more.
Truck camper demolished when hit with 85 mph winds
We write often about the importance of knowing the weather ahead of you, whether you’re staying in one place or traveling. It can, quite literally, make or break you. If you see heavy winds in the forecast or know you’ll be traveling through a gusty area, be prepared. Here’s an example of what could happen otherwise. Warning: This is not pretty!
Last year at this time, these were the most popular articles
• Bear and wasp spray: Good or bad idea for self-defense?
• An easy, quick way to fill your RV’s toilet bowl
• Maintain a safe water supply onboard your RV
• 20,000 RV fires occur each year. Here’s how to prevent one
Would you prefer that everything in this newsletter be RV-related, or do you like a mix of other things too?
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 many finger rings do you most often wear? (That’s a strange one to be the most popular, but guess you’re all interested in rings!) See how nearly 2,000 other RVers responded.
Is your medical marijuana card valid when RVing in other states?
By Cheri Sicard
“Can I use my medical marijuana card in other states?” is probably the most common cannabis travel question I get from students of my online cannabis courses and visitors to my website and YouTube channel. I wish the answer was as simple as yes or no. But, sadly, like many issues surrounding marijuana, the answer is far more complicated than that. Continue reading this informative post.
Rewrap your assist handle with this gripping mod
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Right up in the “neatest thing since sliced bread” category, for our family at least, are big assist handles that you can mount on the side of your RV. At the end of a long road day, or a long trail, being able to grab that handle and stabilize yourself heading up the steps into the rig has been a lifesaver. Learn more.
Coming soon to a campground near you—drone food delivery
You may soon be able to order your food by phone or online and have it delivered to your exact RV site in the campground via drone. One potentially bright spot in the pandemic experience has been the advancement of food delivery systems. Learn more.
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.
RV boo-boos – “And the Greatest RV Mashup Award goes to … “
OK. We’re not sure if this mashup technically qualifies as an RV boo-boo. Much depends on your definition of “boo-boo.” If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you’re likely in one of two camps—cheering, or retching! Check out this hodgepodge RV.
Camp at Nevada’s disappearing Walker Lake while you still can
By Cheri Sicard
After spotting a few lonely RVs parked in campsites along the service road below Nevada state Highway 95 near Hawthorne, we made a spontaneous decision to postpone visiting the Extraterrestrial Highway for a few days in order to take advantage of this beautiful lakeside camping opportunity. We sure are glad we did. Continue reading.
How it Happened: The inspiring story behind Scotchgard Fabric Protector
By Gail Marsh
Last week, I introduced a new column to you: How it Happened. We took a look at how the military influenced the invention of the drive-thru window. This week, we’re looking at something just as useful, but a little different: Scotchgard Fabric Protector. This is interesting!
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.
Bed sheet suspenders keep your sheets in place!
We have to admit, we just recently discovered these and wondered how we didn’t know about them sooner – they’re amazing! If you have bed sheets that don’t stay in place, these easy-to-use bed sheet fasteners or “suspenders” keep them in place – no more corners that won’t stay down! Learn more or order for a great price.
Popular articles from last week
• A “newbie’s” shifting perspective on RV etiquette
• How it Happened: You can thank the military for the drive-thru window
• Ask Dave: Can I connect a portable propane tank to my RV’s outside quick propane connect?
• RV boo-boos – No pickup to pull fifth wheel? No problem!
• The Quartzsite Report: Desert scorpions!
• Self-powered trailer debuts, plus zero-emission motorhomes
How would you like to win a set of Happy Camper Pot Holders?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 29, 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.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We actually really like all of these, but we bet you can guess which one is our favorite! You’ll want one of these.
“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.
‘Earthquake Putty’ keeps stuff in place
Do you have items in your RV you like to keep in place — on a table, bedstand or counter? You need this. Quakehold Museum Putty is designed to keep items secure in earthquakes! Hey, a moving RV is a constant earthquake! To use this, pull off what you need, roll until soft, apply to the base of the object then lightly press it to the surface. Later, it comes off clean. RVers love it! Cheap, too! Learn more or order.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
My carpeted ceiling fabric is drooping. What can I do?
“We are always in the process of upgrading our 2005, paid-for, well-built, Class C GT Jamboree. Until COVID we had been full-timers for 15 years. …” Continue reading about the extensive (understatement!) renovations Sheryl and her husband have done to their Class C, and why they’re concerned about the ceiling, plus Dave’s advice, here.
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Video: My motorhome is in storage. Anything I need to do before bringing it out?
• How close should the tire pressure on duals be?
• More about dually tire pressure
• Does extreme heat make my RV’s wallpaper wrinkle?
• What tire pressure monitoring system do you recommend?
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
By Tony Barthel
We RVers depend on gadgets and gizmos that both make our lives easier and also simplify and shrink things. Such is exactly the case with the Gripstic Snap Bags I ran across in Quartzsite. Every once in a while I see something and buying it is a total no-brainer. … Did they live up to Tony’s expectations? Find out here.
with Mike Sokol
50-amp plug meltdown warning
As many of you know, I’ve been doing a casual study of melted shore power connectors. Some of these shore power outlet failures are caused by loose terminating screws, some by oxidation of the contacts, and some by worn-out pedestals that haven’t been properly maintained in years. However, over on my RVelectricity group this week, someone posted a video with a very interesting theory of why this could be occurring. And no, it’s none of the above. Continue reading.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session: Testing for a dangerous hot-skin voltage (with video)
3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and phone charger must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe, you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.
RV Tire Safety
Critical information is on vehicle certification stickers
By Roger Marble
The vehicle certification sticker has some critical safety information you should know. I don’t expect you to memorize all the information. However, I strongly suggest you snap a picture of the sticker, keep it on your phone, and know where to find it. It has information that is critical when it comes time to knowing the proper tire inflation and when you are shopping for replacement tires. Continue reading.
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: Grandma Re
From: Big Bird
“I never thought my life could so happy and satisfying. Thank you for sharing your life with me. Love you……”
From: Green Eyes
“I love you, Snookums! You are my one true love!”
Operating an RV Park
We passed our building inspection on the first try!
By Machelle James
FINALLY! We can see what the store is going to look like! I cannot even begin to describe what this feels like. AJ and I were sitting under the patio cover admiring how AMAZING the store is—even unfinished! … Our other bit of good news is we passed our building inspection on the very first try! Continue reading Machelle’s update.
Recipe of the Day
This soup is a beautiful creamy white and shows really well in a dish with some bright color. Serve it hot with crumbled bacon and chunky croutons… maybe even a little extra shredded cheese and you have a winner!
We’ll take a bowl (or two) of this, please! Get the recipe.
Other recipes featured in this week’s Daily Tips Newsletters:
• Creamy Lemon Oatmeal Bars
• Easy Low Carb Chicken and Mushroom Stew
• Seafood Pasta in Lemon Butter Sauce
• Double Chocolate Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake
• Easiest Pot Roast With Rich Gravy
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“Charlotte and Templeton are English Bulldogs. Charlotte (the mostly brown colour) is the mother of Templeton. They both love camping. Charlotte is 8-1/2 years old and Templeton is 5-1/2. We live in Nova Scotia, Canada.” —Patricia Norris
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.
Book is a must-have for state park campers!
This book, “50 States: 500 State Parks,” is a must-have for all state park campers and explorers. The book is a beautiful visual journey through America’s best state parks. Whether you’re looking for stunning vistas, rare wildlife, a dose of history, or an enjoyable hike, the state parks offer an array of experiences. Learn more or order.
What is yours to own, yet others use it more?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
The introduction of the popular arcade game Space Invaders caused a nationwide coin shortage in Japan. When the game was introduced in 1978, so many people started playing it that there was a coin shortage—100-yen coins were no longer able to be used by regular citizens or at stores. Worldwide, the game made about 600 million dollars a year in coins, but just in Japan alone, between 1978 and 1982, the game made over 2 billion dollars.
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
company. “A business company, in the strictest sense of the word, is a group of people who sit down and share bread together. For company derives from the Latin con ‘together,’ and panin, ‘bread.’ The idea is that a company consists of friends so close that they sit at the same table sharing any bread they have.”
Laugh of the Week
*mosquitoes (But what fun is a meme without a typo or two? 😆 )
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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