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February 26, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
A commencement address for the New RV Owners “Class of 2022”
By Mike Gast
IRST, A PERSONAL NOTE: Everyone has a bucket list. Some write it all down in excruciating detail, ceremoniously checking off each item as they progress toward their own demise. As for myself, I tend to live life as it comes. I married a list maker, so I leave the tracking to her. There is one personal bucket-list item that I’ve long held and likely won’t fulfill at this point. I’ve always thought it would be neat to give a commencement address. Since I doubt I’ll be getting a call from Cornell or Harvard this spring, I’ve decided to give the commencement address to the Class of 2022 New RV Owners. Here goes…
It’s invigorating to stand here, staring out at all your eager, smiling faces. It’s easy to see that you can’t wait to start rolling down America’s highways and byways, gathering nothing but pleasant memories as you pull into one expansive, luxurious, affordable, and easily reservable campground after another. Imagine the life you’ll live, unencumbered by schedules, deadlines, or the need to be at a certain place at a certain time!
Before you throw your new Winnebago hat in the air and head for the highways, let me share a few facts about this life you’ve chosen.
The CatStrap™ prevents catalytic converter thefts
If you haven’t heard, catalytic converter thefts are on the rise. While lots of people are asking “Why don’t ‘they’ do something about this?” the answer isn’t all that simple. But a reader clued us in to a gadget called the CatStrap™ that might prevent your vehicle’s catalytic converter from being stolen. The CatStrap is an intriguing device that is one of those simple solutions to a complex problem that may turn out to be a great solution.
Embassy RV Traveler: The best Class B I’ve ever seen?
Tony writes, “There are a lot of folks building a lot of vans these days. More and more companies are jumping into the fray because, frankly, Class B RVs are a hot and growing segment of the market. With the way Embassy builds their vans, including the material choices and the whole way the company thinks so differently, I believe that you’re honestly doing yourself a disservice if a Class B RV is something you’re shopping for and you don’t consider their product. It may or may not be the right choice for you, but the way they do things has knocked my socks off.”
Tony reviewed five other RVs this week! Did you miss them? Click here to read.
Have an RV you want to see reviewed by Tony? Hop over to his forum and tell him!
Are RVers really camping? Majority says no
Last weekend we ran a poll asking, “When staying in a luxury RV in a full hookup RV resort, are you camping?” As you can see in the results below, 66 percent answered “No” and 34 percent “Yes.” Wow! In addition to the 2,390 votes (and counting), there were 142 comments. So, if that’s not “camping,” what is? What is the definition of camping? And what is camping vs. glamping? Continue reading to find out.
Around the Campfire: Old vehicle features fun to remember
By Gail Marsh
It was a welcome divergence from the typical deep discussions around the campfire last night. Some of the “oldies” were recalling old vehicle features that no longer exist or have been modified in recent years. Folks in their 60s, 70s, and 80s seemed to enjoy challenging the “young’uns’” knowledge. I thought perhaps you’d enjoy reminiscing, too. Do you remember these?
Best boondocking RV coffee makers—no hookups required
Here’s your ultimate guide to boondocking RV coffee makers and hookup-free gourmet coffee-making accessories. Boondocking can provide you with some out-of-this-world scenery that those in RV parks will sadly never experience. One of the times it is most apparent is when you first open your RV door in the morning. Why not pair those breathtaking views with equally impressive morning coffee? You can! Find out how here.
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Highlights from this weeks RV Daily Tips Newsletter
• How it Happened: The invention of the tea bag (plus unusual tea bag tricks!)
• Off-grid RV kitchen tips to extend boondocking time
• Need shelter from hot sun or bad weather? Use this pop-up canopy
• The things you must do before every RV trip
• Propane leak tests—Here’s one from the Darwin Awards!
Learn from others’ RV buying mistakes
By Nanci Dixon
In a recent poll, we asked our readers: Did you make buying mistakes when you purchased your current RV? More than 1,700 readers participated in the poll, and the results were impressive…. I was hoping we’d get many informative comments along with the polling information, and our readers certainly did not disappoint! Here’s hoping if you’re in the market for a new or new-to-you RV, you can avoid mistakes like the ones some of our readers admittedly made. You can learn a lot from our readers here.
Introvert RVer says getting out of comfort zone brings unexpected fun times
By Gail Marsh
I’ve written before about the tension that exists between an introverted personality and an extroverted one. Put those two personalities inside a very small living space (like an RV) and you might rightly predict an explosion of sorts. … As with so much in life, the choices we make have the power to either enrich our life or make us miserable. The choice is up to us, and I’d like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. This is very interesting.
RV boo-boos: Got Sand?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Not sure just how many toy haulers we’ve seen—must be hundreds. And so many of them in the Southern California/Arizona area bear a slogan: “Got Sand?” When Ashley and Rob went looking for sand—they got it in spades. Read about (and watch) what happened here. Also, Bill H. sent in a horror story about a couple with a brand-new truck and 5th wheel. Ouch!
Making money on the road: A niche job—seasonal work for RVers
By Cheri Sicard
Making money on the road presents a major challenge for many RVers, especially full-timers. Especially for those digital nomads who are not tech-savvy. However, there is a little-known seasonal work opportunity that can not only make you a little side cash, but it can also pay BIG BUCKS. I am talking in excess of $300 a day for a motivated, well-trained individual. Sometimes substantially more. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with multi-level marketing and you are not actually selling anything. Interested? Continue reading.
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
MORE OF CLINT
See some of Clint’s recent cartoons. They’re wonderful!
Do you read other RV-related newsletters?
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Ghost Town Trails: Tumco, California
By Dave Helgeson
Welcome to the second installment of Ghost Town Trails as we visit Tumco, California. Tumco is an easy visit for snowbirds spending the winter in Yuma or boondocking along Ogilby Road. Tumco is located in one of the earliest known gold mining regions in California, preceding the California Gold Rush by 150 years! Learn more.
Be tick aware: The three types of ticks most likely to bite you
By Dale Wade
On occasion you have to walk through some tall grasses just to get to your destination, and therein lies a problem. Ticks, those nasty, blood-sucking little buggers, just hang out waiting for that innocent hiker to get close enough to hitch a ride. The worst part? There’s more than one type of tick! Learn how to deal with them here.
Modern prospecting equipment: The Blue Bowl
By Randall Brink
For the RVer prospecting with a few simple hand tools and a gold pan, separating the last fine sands and gravels in the pan can be time-consuming and tedious work. … The black sands, often magnetite and infused with other dense ferrous minerals, can be nearly as heavy as gold, and it isn’t easy to separate the gold from the sands. That’s where the Blue Bowl can be handy. Learn more.
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.
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 26, 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.
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 RV window insulation?
I have just arrived to work in a pretty cold climate. Winter will be over soon. However, right now it is still fairly cold, with frost on the windows. I have noticed here that some folks have insulation types on the exterior of the windows and some on the inside. Any thoughts other than leave for Florida? lol! Thanks. —Andrew
TOPICS TO DISCUSS IN DAVE’S FORUM
• Who installs headers on a Class C Ford motorhome?
• My anode rod broke off, can I let it disintegrate?
• F250 pulling 5th wheel, can I install lift kit on hitch?
with Mike Sokol
Are campgrounds ready for EV charging?
You can’t watch television for long (even the Super Bowl) before you see a commercial about the coming wave of electric vehicles (EVs).
They’re not only promoting electric sedans and SUVs with a 300-mile range and acceleration that will beat most any ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle. They’re also showing electric pickup trucks towing travel trailers as well as powering your house if you lose power during a blackout. But while EVs are certainly fun to drive and can cost significantly less to “fill up,” at the end of the day (or drive) they need to be charged. [But are campgrounds ready for EVs? And can you bring your own Level-2 charger?]
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Going to the dogs – Eat local…
RV Tire Safety
Why did my RV have three tire blowouts?
Roger Marble cites another post on an RV forum that he recently saw. He reports that many of the posters did not understand the concept of cold inflation. Here’s part of the original post: “I’m pulling my hair out. I’ve had three blowouts in 18 months of ownership of our 2020 Keystone Outback. We have ST225 75 R 15 Load E. The blowouts have been on 3 of 4 points on our dual axle TT.” Read the rest of the post, and Roger’s explanation of some tire failure causes here.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
Recipe of the Day
Baked Feta pasta has become a viral trend that we’re seeing everywhere. So, of course, we had to put our twist on the insanely popular recipe. In this version, we’ve turned it into a flavorful baked ziti. Feta and tomatoes are baked until the cheese is creamy and the tomatoes are bursting with flavor. Then, they’re combined with pasta, Italian herbs, and mozzarella cheese. The ziti pasta absorbs the creamy tomato sauce to create a must-try baked pasta dish.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“On Clyde’s first RV trip, he kept jumping up on our bed to sleep and waking us up. We finally realized he just does not like sleeping on floors. Now we set up the dinette bed for him at night and he sleeps the whole night!” —Kristen Privett
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
You should do something nice for someone today. Like giving them this. That would be nice.
A man wanted to encrypt his password but he needed to do it in a way so that he could remember it. He had to use seven characters consisting of letters and numbers only (no symbols like ! or <). In order to remember it, he wrote down “You force heaven to be empty.” What is his password?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
The tallest habitable masonry structure in the world is the Philadelphia City Hall. What does that mean? Well, modern skyscrapers are built with steel framework and curtain walls. That internal skeleton carries the load weight all the way back down to the ground and is distributed evenly. In conventional construction, the weight of the building sits in the walls, which then gets carried to the ground. This is how Philadelphia’s City Hall was built, making it the tallest masonry load-bearing structure in the world, standing at 548 feet tall. In addition, the building is also one of the largest municipal buildings in the entire world.
Laugh of the Week
And this, folks, is what you call brilliant marketing!
“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.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Tony Barthel, Mike Gast. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Gail Marsh, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, Machelle James, Scott Linden, James Raia, Kate Doherty, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, 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.
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