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RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1039

Welcome to RVtravel.com, an RV-themed newsletter from the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

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Page Contents

February 12, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition


Cover story

Should you tip campground workers?

By Gail Marsh

I’ll admit it. I am not a good tipper. I think it’s mostly because I never know how much to tip. I’m not good at figuring math inside my head and can never remember if tips should be 15%, 25%, or 35% of any given bill. I never worked as a waiter/waitress either, so I have no idea how the hourly-plus-tips arrangement works. So, I defer to my husband. He more than makes up for my deficiency. So, here’s our conundrum: Do you tip campground workers?

Should you tip these types of campground workers?

  • Site guide. The person who leads you to your campsite and helps you park your rig (if you want or need assistance). On occasion, we’ve really relied on our site guide. Like times when we’ve pulled into a new-to-us campground in the dark. Or when our assigned site is narrow with big rigs already parked all around our spot. I remember one especially tricky parking challenge where the guy more than deserved a tip! But because I was a nervous wreck by the time we finally got our RV situated, tipping never entered my mind.
  • Office help. There’s the gal at the office desk who arranged for us to move to a vacated spot in the shade. It was hot and extremely humid. Extremely. Humid. And hot. That’s usually no problem, but our air conditioner wasn’t working. At the time, the campground’s pool was closed due to COVID, and we were miserable! The office gal heard about our plight and approached us with the idea of moving once the current site holders moved on down the road. Of course, we jumped at the chance to have some shade. This kind woman’s thoughtfulness saved our vacation that year. Did we tip? Erm, well … no. (We said “Thanks so much!” Does that count?)
  • Over-the-top service. Then there was the worker who saw us fiddling with our propane tanks. We realized that both tanks were nearly empty. As we discussed what to do since the farm supply store (the only source of propane in the area) was closed for the day, the guy brought an “extra” full tank for us to use—for free! We returned the tank—minus the propane we’d used—when we left the following day. The guy happily waved as we drove off. Don’t even ask. No, we didn’t tip. We offered our genuine and effusive thanks, of course, but no money exchanged hands

You’re probably thinking one of two things—either “Tip at a campground? Never heard of such a thing.” Or “What cheapskates!” But here’s the thing…

Read More


Roadside Journal 

RVtravel.com publisher and founder Chuck Woodbury, now in semi-retirement, writes about whatever is on his mind, sometimes about RVing, sometimes not…

Why my clock is my enemy

Why does time continually speed up? Shouldn’t it be the other way—slow down so we can have more time to enjoy the waning years of our earthly existence? Chuck has some thoughts.



 Featured article 

Long RV servicing waits may be reduced by cultivating relationships with local shops

By Randall Brink
Over the past two years, the RV industry’s tectonic shifts have spawned stories of delays in RV service and repair, parts shortages, and overall high demand upon shops and technicians. There are shortages of everything from critical components to physical shop space, and particularly qualified technicians. A common thread in these tales of RV ownership woe is the open-ended repair timeline that results in RVs entering the shop and staying there. There is no short-term or simple solution on the horizon for these shortages and constraints. But there are things that you, as an RV owner, can do to mitigate the situation and keep your rig on the road.

Read More


Today’s RV review…

Today, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Crossroads Zinger Lite ZR18RK. He writes, “For those looking to get into RVing at a price point almost $10,000 below the average price of a new car in the U.S., this is certainly not a bad choice, all things considered.”

Read More

Click here for more reviews, including those from this past week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters.

Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request in Tony’s forum here!



Utility workers taking over campgrounds, given priority over campers like us

By Gail Marsh
This is our third year at the same southwest Florida campground, but it’s definitely different this year. The park manager of this small operation is the same as in past years, we have the same RV site, the pool and pickleball court are the same, too. So, what’s changed? The clientele, or, more specifically, the utility workers. Read more then please participate in the attached poll.

Questionable RVing features: What were they thinking?

By Dave Helgeson
Have you ever wondered, “What were they thinking?” when you encountered a feature “designed” to enhance your RVing experience? My college years were spent earning a degree in architecture. My professors taught me and other students how form follows function. … This concept must be rather ingrained in me for when I encounter a poorly “designed” feature intended to support RVers in their travels I wonder “What were they thinking?” or, more concisely, “What was the designer thinking?” … You won’t believe some of these RVing features Dave has encountered in his lifetime of RVing.

Around the Campfire: Old-timer offers newbie all the wrong advice

By Gail Marsh
The cooler evening temperatures prompt many folks to gather at night around a campfire. I enjoy meeting and visiting with people from all over the country. It’s always interesting to learn their life stories—the ups and downs that many of us have in common as we live our lives. Last evening, however, I was dumbstruck when a self-proclaimed “RV old-timer” began informing an RV newbie about all the different kinds of fellow campers they can expect to see as they begin their travels. … What made Gail “see red”? Find out.



 RV Consumer Support 

Your credit card statements could hurt you!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you’re like us, you don’t mind spending money when and where it’s needed. But you no doubt bristle when you find your cash is going somewhere you didn’t authorize. Last night we found out we were bleeding money—and didn’t even know it. The only way we found out is by carefully eyeballing our credit card statements. There’s more than just one important principle here.

Read 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. Learn more or donate.


STOCK UP ON YOUR MOTOR OIL. Great prices at Amazon. Quick delivery for Prime Members. Learn more or order.


Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter

A 10-minute daily clean will make a world of difference in your RV
Take care with campfires
Easy ways to decorate your RV without adding much weight
RVs and WD-40: Unusual combinations that work!
Free RV spot? Try caretaking—trade skills, or your presence

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Why you don’t have to be a minimalist to be an RVer

By Cheri Sicard
There seems to be a popular wisdom circulating among today’s young RV bloggers and YouTubers that you MUST be a minimalist to successfully live and thrive in the RV lifestyle. I even saw one “expert” (who, by the way, was selling expensive online courses about living as a nomad) actually give the ridiculous advice that you should outfit your RV with NO MORE THAN two place settings. … WHAT the WHAT? … Read Cheri’s wise alternative perspective, and check out her picture as a beautiful circus performer, here.

RV boo-boos—A good attitude helps!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Well, there’s just something about “mishaps” in the RV world. How we recover probably has a lot to do with attitude. The male-half of this writing team is trying to learn how to not stress and “go with the flow.” It’s a good attitude that’ll probably make for a longer life—at least one that’s more fun. Read about one of our reader’s two big boo-boos here.

Important lessons learned from RVing apply to other parts of life too

By Nanci Dixon
Through the years of RVing and the last years full-timing, in particular, the one lesson I learned is to pack light and get rid of stuff. The saying goes, “One thing in means one thing out.” As we start to fill a dwelling again with all the necessary stuff of a stuck-to-the-ground house, I am impressed with how ingrained “keep it light” is. Every year in the RV we pull everything out and if we aren’t using it, well, out it goes. Or at least that is the idea… Read more.


Clintoons • By Clint Norrell

COPYRIGHT 2022 by Clint Norrell

MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!



 Reader Poll 

Do you have a special personal, comfy place in your RV?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. CLICK HERE.


Finding community in campgrounds, like going back to the 1950s

By Rod Andrew
About 12 years ago my wife and I made our first trek south, towing a trailer from British Columbia to Southern California. Early in the trip, we learned something that you readers probably already know, but which came as a surprise to us. We found community. I had thought that traveling would be all about where we went and what we saw and did, but found that this would really only be a small part of what lay ahead. Read the rest of this heartwarming story.

The funniest camping commercials of all time

If you need a good laugh, play this video to watch the funniest camping commercials of all time. Not only are they funny, but they’re from all around the world, so it’s neat to see how other countries camp. Not all of them are about RVing, but you’ll still be able to relate. Trust us. Watch the video.

Free camping in five states? Just be a camp host!

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Reports from RVers across the country tell us that campsites are getting as scarce as hens’ teeth. How would you like a FREE campsite? If you’re willing to volunteer as a camp host, putting in a few hours of labor, you could have a free campsite and, at times, bonuses as well. Here’s a list of details from five states where camp hosts are needed. But be warned—these positions may fill quickly!



 Contest 

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.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.


Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win a Compact Air Fryer?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 12, 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.

Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!



 Ask Dave 

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 is the best water purifier?

Dear Dave,
We are planning a few long trips in our Grand Design Imagine. I want to get a water purifier to use at the water source at our site. Can you talk about which brand/style works best? Thanks. —Leigh

Read Dave’s reply

Click here to see more questions for Dave, including those that he answered in this week’s RV Daily Tips newsletters.

Visit Dave’s new forum. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.


RV Gadgets and Gizmos

The best kind of wedgie: Andersen RV levelers

The Andersen wedges in use on a single-axle travel trailer

By Tony Barthel
Automatic leveling systems have come a long way, to the point where even some travel trailers, such as Keystone’s Outback brand, have seven-point automatic leveling systems. However, you can save many thousands of dollars and simplify your RV experience with a set of leveling wedges instead. I like to write about products I’ve found that I use regularly on the road, and these Andersen levelers are one of those products.

Read More


RVelectricity

with Mike Sokol

Quartzsite remote seminar Part 2: Surge protectors

Dear Readers,
As promised, here’s Part 2 of my remote RVelectricity seminars from the Quartzsite RV Show a couple of weeks ago. This time the topic is surge protectors. And once again, Tony Barthel provided the transporter landing pad and geek technology so that I could remain home in my Funkworks Lab Studio in Maryland, while he braved the elements (and poor WiFi) of Quartzsite. Read more and watch the video.

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Is reverse polarity on a 30-amp outlet dangerous?

NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.



RV Tire Safety

Age-old question: More on tire pressure

By Roger Marble
Please forgive me if I sound like a broken record. I found another post on an RV forum on inflation. It’s almost as if no one knows that the answer to most questions on RV life has already been asked and answered. That is certainly the case when it comes to tire inflation. But I just can’t ignore these questions, as I hope that if some learn how to properly inflate their tires they may avoid a costly failure.

Read More

NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.


For Lovers Only…

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (hint: it’s on Monday). So after today we will no longer be running this column. Thanks to all you lovebirds who have submitted entries. Your love notes have been so sweet and inspiring and we have enjoyed reading them all!

Click here to see the submissions.


?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
These probably won’t arrive in time for Monday but we absolutely think they’re still worth getting. Imagine the look on their face when they see, well, your face!


Operating an RV Park

Campground updates, and we’re going on a road trip!

Machelle James writes about their excitement of preparing for a road trip (Jenna’s first), all of the recent work accomplished at the RV park (mostly by AJ), as well as last-minute preparations to button up the park before they leave. Check out their trip itinerary and offer suggestions of your favorite places for them to see on their journey here.


Recipe of the Day

Crock Pot Taco Dip
by Debe Z from Wind Lake, WI

Make this Crock Pot dip for your next football party or when surprise guests come over. It’s cheesy and full of taco flavor. Serve with chips for an easy snack. You could even serve this in a hard taco shell or soft tortilla (topped with a little lettuce and sour cream) for a small meal. A delicious and easy recipe!

We’ll be making this this weekend! Get the recipe.

More recipes for Super Bowl Sunday?
Over the Moon Pizza Dip
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Crispy Sticky Oven Hot Wings
Bacon Buffalo Cream Cheese Jalapenos


Brain Teaser

Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)


Readers’ Pets of the Day

“Smudge and Taz are siblings and were feral. We rescued them at 8 weeks old, now they’re 3 years old. They have adapted well to their new homes (RV and house). A black vulture visits them every day and goes right up to the window.” —Michael Beatty



Trivia

In the U.S., skin cancer most often appears on the left side of the body. Why? Think about driving down the road in your RV. Yup, your left arm is exposed to all that sunlight!

Laugh of the Week


Resources

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.

RV Clubs
Check out our Directory of RV Clubs and Organizations.

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.


Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues



RVtravel.com Staff

rv travel logoPublisher: 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, Karel Carnohan, DVM, and Cheri Sicard. 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.

RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

CONTACT US
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: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: mikegast@rvtravel.com
Advertising
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Help desk:
Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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Wally
7 months ago

Tip the campground workers ??? You are losing your mind. Maybe if they do something above and beyond their regular job , otherwise it’s crazy

jillie
7 months ago

A friend of ours tips at 15% and starts deducting if the wait staff starts off either with an attitude or service. There was one time he left a quarter on the table because the waitress hardly ever showed. I start the tip at 15% and either it goes down or up depending on service. What every one needs to realize is as I am finding they are basing tips after taxes not before. I told the waiter at the last restaurant I am not paying your taxes and gave him a 15% tip before tax and I was miffed. As for campgrounds? Never thought about that before. Interesting. Valentines Day? Over rated and no we do not celebrate it. Its just another day around here.

Alex
7 months ago

Tipping isn’t necessarily always about money. Recognition and respect are appreciated too, especially in public when money exchanged can be misinterpreted to be a bribe or policy violation. I carry caramel green apple lollipops and when tipping is inappropriate, I say “You’re great! Tell the boss I said you’re worth more money .. in the meantime, please enjoy this lollipop!” The smiles in response are brighter and wider than money can buy.

icamper
7 months ago

on your trivia today also your hearing gets worse on your left side for the same reason the constant wind noise

David Johnson
7 months ago

Something caught this old editor’s eye: January 12?? Oops!!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  David Johnson

Say what?! You mean it’s not still January? 😯 Thanks, David. Have a great day! 🙂 -Diane

Crowman
7 months ago

Anybody that looked at the Amazon oil prices I hope that with every purchase they include a rape whistle to blow with the crazy high prices they asked.

Ramon Milam
7 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

Needed to change oil in my Ram 6.7. Went to 7 stores, no 15w 40. All stores said they didn’t know what was going on, it was disappearing as fast as they got it. I ordered 6 cases from Costco, $37.50 a case, free shipping.

Last edited 7 months ago by Ramon Milam
Dave
7 months ago
Reply to  Ramon Milam

6 cases, is this helping the cause, or are YOU part of the cause ?

WEB Webster
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave

You should see their stock of Charmin….

DJ Napora
7 months ago

I usually tip anyone a buck or two for exceptional service, or at the very least, if I see someone running the weedwacker or cleaning other fire pits, I will take over a can of sparking water or soda.
a young lady that really went the extra mile for me recently was awarded a nice huge chocolate bar from town! She was so happy, telling everyone about her reward.
we have been very fortunate in our lives, and I find it nice to give back to our friends.

Ramon Milam
7 months ago
Reply to  DJ Napora

I worked hard all my working years and never got a tip. I use to tip graciously at restaurants but quit since they all got a pay raise to a living wage and I now pay $10 for a fast food burger. They can’t have it both ways.

jillie
7 months ago
Reply to  DJ Napora

We tip at 15% and start a down ward spiral on percentage if the service sucks. Which lately it has. I also do not like those on line menus. Those suck too especially if you do not have a phone that can read those spiral things to read it. Get real. I demand a real menu. If not? I walk.

Chris
7 months ago
Reply to  jillie

Chill!

WEB Webster
7 months ago
Reply to  jillie

Not only do those QR code menus suck, they (QR codes) can collect your data and pass on your preferences to the highest bidder.

Jed
7 months ago
Reply to  WEB Webster

QR codes are just strings of text, often a URL. Yes, the site could collect your data, like what booth you are sitting in and what your order is. However, every time you enter a restaurant there are numerous ways your information can be collected your waiter, a security camera in the restaurant, the person in the booth next to you, or the person you are sitting next to.

I get that some people take issue with the usability of some technologies but saying everything new is simply a way to steal your information to make ridiculous sums of cash gets old. If people want to steal your information they have had the tools to steal it for decades, if not centuries.

Overall it doesn’t affect tipping unless you want to reduce your tip because you feel the QR code reduces customer service because it is harder for you to work with. If that is the case then by all means reduce your tip but I doubt your waiter/waitress is the one who thought up adding a QR code.