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February 5, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Finding the magic in unknown places, the reason we travel
By Emily Woodbury
here’s a special kind of magic that seems to rest in the air in the high California desert. I’ve felt a similar magic before, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but it had been a while and it was nice to be reminded of what it felt like.
I was telling my travel companion about something I love. I explained, “One of my most favorite things in the whole entire world is when you’re in a quiet place—a small town main street, even a city block late at night, and you find a little restaurant or tavern with a lit-up sign outside. Opening the doors from a quiet, peaceful street into a bustling scene inside—drinks clinking, knives cutting, forks stabbing, chitter-chatter, music… it’s my favorite thing to watch an entire world come alive. A world tucked behind two closed doors.”
But as I drove through Joshua Tree National Park, I realized I found this feeling in places other than restaurants and taverns late at night. That same little piece of magic sometimes catches a person off guard in a place they would have never expected to find it. I thought I would love Joshua Tree, sure, but did I think it would slither like its Diamondbacks into my soul? No, I wasn’t expecting that. I opened its metaphorical doors and walked into a scene that made my little heart sing. Continue reading Emily’s magical essay.
RVtravel.com coffee mugs now “official” in Quartzsite!
We are happy to announce that when you order coffee at the Mountain Quail Cafe in Quartzsite, Ariz., (the RV Snowbird Capital of the World) it will be served in an official RVtravel.com “Blast Off To Adventure” coffee mug! If you love the mug so much you can’t part with it, buy it as you check out for $5. (You must tell the server or clerk that you are an RVtravel.com reader.) If you own or manage a restaurant or cafe popular with RVers, ask us about supplying you with free mugs for your customers. (As a bonus we’ll send you a constant flow of new customers!) Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Headline stories in tomorrow’s newsletter
• Heads up! Carriers are killing off some cell service
• “Rolling homeless” problem is affecting your RV lifestyle
• Like everything else, campground rates going up in 2022
• Campground Crowding: “Stop selling RVs to folks under 50”
• Burt Reynolds’ bespoke Chevy Silverado pickup truck fetches $286,000
• The Quartzsite Report: Reader says, “Please go away”
• More advanced reservations available at Yellowstone campgrounds
• Plans for RV park at PA airport won’t fly with local officials
• S.D. governor’s plan to expand Black Hills campground not popular
PLUS: Lots more RVing-related stories • 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
• Banish RV slideout squeaks
• Awning tear? Don’t despair—Fix it yourself
• RV Mods: Stretching your basement storage
• Tips for RV consignment selling
• Dump your holding tanks in your home septic system?
Today’s RV review…
Today, industry insider Tony Barthel provides more details on the Airstream eStream electric trailer concept. He writes, “I was able to sit in on a call with Airstream President Bob Wheeler and McKay Featherstone, head of development, and learn more about this interesting concept.” Click here to see what he thinks about it.
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!
Is your RV stove harming you and the environment?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
“Your gas stove could be hurting everyone around you,” shouts the headline from a recent issue of Popular Science. The subtitle, “A new report has found that stoves are constantly emitting fumes—warming the planet and endangering your health.” Is your RV stove a guilty party? Find out here.
“All I read about are problems! Is it even worth getting an RV?”
By Gail Marsh
This comment appeared recently in an RV blog I follow. The person posting their question about whether or not getting an RV was even worth it received hundreds of replies—the majority being fervently in favor of the RV lifestyle. The entire post stopped me in my tracks. I looked back on the last several articles I’d researched and written. To my surprise (and regret), many of the articles voiced negative aspects of RVing. Continue reading this upbeat post.
Thousands enter to win “free RV.” It’s a scam, but their reasons are legit
If you have a Facebook account, you may have seen several scams going around saying “Enter to win a free RV,” or something along those lines. Recently, one was posted on our Free Campgrounds Facebook group, which was promptly deleted by our moderators because, of course, it was spam. Continue reading for some very heartfelt “contest” entry comments.
Around the Campfire: Personal rights vs. doing what’s right when camping
By Gail Marsh
A few nights ago, several campers gathered around the campfire. We began to discuss the “unwritten rules of camping.” Several newbies in the fire circle were curious about these rules. Who created them? Who, if anyone, enforces them? Why are these rules needed? And why aren’t the rules written down? Good questions! The conversation that followed seemed more like an airing of grievances, but in retrospect, maybe that’s exactly how the unwritten rules first originated. Continue reading.
Do you remember how you first heard about RVtravel.com?
Try to remember and tell us here. Thanks!
The most popular poll in this past week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters:
Have you ever seen the Old Faithful geyser erupt in person? See how more than 2,100 other RVers responded.
Everything to know about crossing the border between San Diego and Tijuana in an RV
By Cheri Sicard
The thought of driving from the U.S. into Mexico inspires fear and anxiety in many would-be travelers. In fact, it’s enough to make a lot of folks stay home. Especially when you add the stress of driving or towing a large RV, and making that crossing at San Ysidro, the world’s busiest land border crossing. That’s a shame, because Baja California Norte, just over the border from San Diego, has so much to offer RVers. The border crossing is not bad, especially if you know what to expect. Continue reading this very comprehensive article.
Road Trips: Marilyn Monroe was once California’s “Artichoke Queen”
In this interesting post by Chris Epting, learn some of the history of how Marilyn Monroe got her start in the movies, and why she was crowned the first California Artichoke Queen. The fun, small town of Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World, will celebrate its Artichoke Festival on June 11-12. Read more about Marilyn and Castroville here.
RV boo-boos—Always good to use a spotter!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
How do you spell “entertainment” at the RV park? One sure-fire hit is to watch folks try to park their rigs. Some are just soooo disappointing. They roll those rigs in there without a hitch. But on the other hand… There are plenty of folks who just seem to be, well, born with all thumbs. It’s those that need a spotter that make for entertainment. Like this one.
A beloved Texas roadside stop with the “best bathrooms in the nation”
When you’re on a road trip and your gas tank is nearing empty, your bladder is nearing full, and your stomach is grumbling, where’s the best place to stop? Well, if you’re in Texas, Alabama, Georgia or Florida, it’s going to be at the beloved Buc-ee’s, of course. Learn more and watch the video.
How it Happened: Thank a mulberry tree and the Silk Road for the cardboard box
By Gail Marsh
I’ve stopped counting. Peeking into just one RV cupboard, I counted 14! I’m talking about cardboard boxes. From breakfast cereal to crackers to spaghetti noodles—all are packaged inside these boxes. We use them to move things into and out of our RVs. We store things inside cardboard boxes, as well. It’s safe to say that our world would be very different without the lowly cardboard box. So whose bright idea was the cardboard box? Learn the fascinating history here.
RV meal prep for delicious chicken dinners on the fly
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! This article contains a brilliant idea and delicious recipes that streamline your way to a flavorful homemade chicken dinner in your RV anytime. Yum! Check this out!
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
• New pickup truck prices skyrocket, except for 10 “cheap” options
• Ask Dave: Can a half-ton truck tow a “lite” fifth wheel?
• The Quartzsite Report: Beware the Quartzsite coyote!
• Buying or selling a used RV? Here’s the latest on prices
• Campground Crowding: Actually, is “crowding” really a problem?
How would you like to win a Mini Portable Vacuum?
This handy little vacuum comes with an assortment of nifty attachments, a 16 ft. cord and a carrying case.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 5, 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.
This was our #1 best-selling product in January—and for good reason! We have a set of these and they really do work wonders!
“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 Propane/LP Gas Alarm may save your life
This Safe-T-Alert Propane/LP Gas Alarm is designed specifically for your RV. It features advanced technology with an “Alarm Mute” button that silences the alarm when the RV is ventilated and a rapid recovery sensor that resets when silenced or reactivates if dangerous levels of propane remain. An easy 12-volt installation means there will be no missing or dead batteries to replace. 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.
What can I use to level my 5th wheel besides bulky wood blocks?
I have a fifth wheel trailer. It weighs 9,400 lbs. fully loaded. Is it safe to use plastic leveling blocks under the front landing gear? I’m trying to eliminate some weight by not using heavy wood blocks. Thank you, Dave. —Al
Other questions Dave answered this week:
• Can a half-ton truck tow a “lite” fifth wheel?
• At what temp should I be worried about exposed water lines freezing?
• How often should I lubricate my RV’s slideout mechanism and with what?
• Will reflective material damage my RV’s windshield seal?
• Doesn’t my LP tank have an excess flow valve?
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
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
We bet almost exactly 50 percent of our readers will want this! We think it’s true!
with Mike Sokol
A video discussion about upgrading your RV to lithium batteries
As promised, Tony Barthel from RVtravel.com and Stressless Camping was able to upload our lithium battery virtual seminar from the Quartzsite show last week while he was sitting in a Starbucks cafe that had WiFi access.
So, after a whole lotta cappuccinos, here we are in a 40-minute video discussion about what you should know before upgrading your RV to lithium batteries. I’ve learned a lot about lithium battery upgrades and charging over the last year, so now is a great opportunity for you to learn the basics. Read more and watch the video here.
This week’s J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session: The Mike and Tony Quartzsite Show Preview.
RV Tire Safety
Tire loads and inflation—a refresher
By Roger Marble
I just read another post on a FB page where more incorrect information about tire loads and inflation was published. Soooo, let’s go over this topic again.
Today’s key points: Know the minimum tire inflation based on manufacturer estimates. At a minimum, check your inflation with a good gauge at least monthly and every morning before travel. Better yet: Get, program and use a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS). 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.
From: Crazy cat camper
“Can’t wait to go camping with our Siamese. We’re going to have a blast!”
“Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Anniversary! 37 years with you and things couldn’t be any HOTTER! Love you!”
RV Fire Safety
Prevent spontaneous combustion
Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Buy charcoal fresh, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container. Rags soiled with auto wax or cleaners that contain petroleum products or other oil-based cleaning materials can also spontaneously combust if disposed of in a combustible container. Put dirty cleaning rags in a metal container with a lid. —Courtesy Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Broccoli Shrimp Casserole
by Dennis Purcell from Ann Arbor, MI
We loved this creamy, cheesy, broccoli casserole. Adding shrimp bulks it up and could be served as a main meal or a side dish. Cayenne adds a little heat to the casserole. But we really enjoyed the bacon. It adds a smoky flavor that’s nice with the savory cheese and creamy broccoli cheddar soup. Done in 30 minutes, this is an easy dinner.
Easy and delicious? Count us in! Get the recipe.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“We just started taking Nala, a Goldendoodle, on camping trips. She is having a difficult time finding a place to lay down in the camper as we do not take her favorite resting place [pictured] with us.” —Alan Trombley
Block window glare with movable sunshades
[Caveat: Check state laws before using these while driving.]
Kate Doherty writes, “The automatic shades in motorhomes are great for front-facing glare, but sometimes quartering slivers of bright sunlight affect vision comfort for both driver and passenger. We found these sunshades more effective, especially on the middle of our Jeep front windshield, to reduce glare without impeding vision as the sun visors don’t extend far enough. Because they are so flexible, they fit well in curved windshields.” Read more or order some here.
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.
How can 8 + 8 = 4?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful, was once routinely used for doing laundry. Back in the 1880s, people put the geyser’s hot water to good use! Henry J. Winser, an early Yellowstone guide, wrote, “Old Faithful is sometimes degraded by being made a laundry. Garments placed in the crater during quiescence are ejected thoroughly washed when the eruption takes place. Gen. Sheridan’s men, in 1882, found that linen and cotton fabrics were uninjured by the action of the water, but woolen clothes were torn to shreds.”
Word and Phrase Origins
From the book, Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson:
flea market. “These bargain markets have nothing to do with fleas. Flea market has been an American expression as far back as Dutch colonial days when there was a very real Vallie (Valley) Market at the valley, or foot, of Maiden Lane in downtown Manhattan. The Vallie Market came to be abbreviated to Vlie Market and this was soon pronounced Flea Market.
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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