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April 2, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
National Parks aren’t as crowded as they appear online. This will give you hope
By Emily Woodbury
couple of weeks ago I told you I was worried about visiting two of the most popular National Parks, Zion and the Grand Canyon, and plenty of other popular sights and destinations along the way. I was worried. And, in all honesty, I was being a grump about it. Sure, I knew I could wake up early enough to beat the crowds on the most popular trail on my list, but what about all the other trails and sights? By the time I finished the first one, the rest would be swarmed.
Going into this trip, I expected the worst. I really did. I braced myself for crowds, trash, children breaking rules, adults breaking rules… But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised.
Sure, the drive up 179 into Sedona, Arizona, looked like this:
Click the button below to continue reading, and see plenty more comparison photos. I tell you what my experience with the crowds was really like.
Okay, RVers. Listen up. We want to know what really grinds your gears. What really frustrates, annoys or upsets you.
Is it your neighbor who blows cigar smoke into your RV every night? Is it the loud children who bike through your campsite? How about that gosh-darn ugly barking dog over there? Is it that stupid-big outdoor TV screen on your neighbor’s RV? What about the camp manager, who just can’t seem to ever wake up on the right side of the bed? Is it a stupid rule? A silly requirement? An expensive regret?
Come on! Vent to us! You can be as downright frustrated, as downright annoyed, as downright upset as you please! We can take it! It must be RV-related, though, of course.
Around the Campfire: Who advocates for RVers?
By Gail Marsh
Talk around the campfire a few nights ago got several folks riled up. A few “newbie” RV owners wondered who they should contact about their complaints. One fifth-wheel owner couldn’t get his emergency exit window to open. The dealer was no help after the sale. A travel trailer newbie was convinced his rig had electrical issues. “Who advocates for RVers?” they wondered out loud. … Gail did some research. Find out what it revealed here. Maybe you can add to it.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “Typically, if you look at the most affordable line of any company’s offerings, what you get are very, very obvious corners that were cut. That’s absolutely not the case here. What you end up with is a trailer that’s rather competitively priced but built like a premium model because, in fact, it is.”
We had some technical difficulties earlier with this link, but it’s fixed now. Sorry, folks, but thanks for your patience.
NEW! Would you like to see a certain RV reviewed? Submit your request to Tony at his new Forum on RVtravel.com.
Life lessons in cleaning toilets. What years as a work camper have taught me…
By Nanci Dixon
My husband and I have come to the end of our six-year run as work campers (volunteers) at a regional park in Arizona. I have learned more than I thought possible. It has been wonderful, though sometimes trying and definitely hot. It’s been stinky and dirty at times, but I have learned a whole lot during our time as work campers. … Continue reading this very open and honest account.
Campground community centers are hidden gems
The next time you go camping, be sure to check out the campground community center. Over the past few years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these facilities closed down for health reasons. With the pandemic easing, it’s time to rediscover this often-hidden gem. … Continue reading about all of their benefits here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• Don’t throw out your Pringles can! Use it these 11 ways in your RV
• How to stock a small RV pantry for long-term travel
• Driving an RV: Why it’s important that all adult passengers know how
• RV Mods—Got a spare, there?
• RV Gadget: Why your RV needs a Water Bandit!
See BoxKat Rodent Barriers at the Evergreen Spring RV Show in Monroe, Wash., today and tomorrow (April 2 & 3).
Clintoons • By Clint Norrell
Read the story behind this Clintoon here.
If you enjoy Clint’s work each week, will you please leave a comment at the bottom of this newsletter and tell him? He works hard on these, and we want to send all the praise his way!
How is your RV or tow vehicle powered?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
I climbed inside the belly of a dinosaur and came out its mouth!
By Emily Woodbury
This is not, I repeat NOT, an April Fools’ joke. I really did climb straight inside a dinosaur’s belly. And not just any dinosaur either, but Mr. Rex himself, the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus Rex! Read more.
Start planning now for the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America. Seriously!
Get ready, the 2024 total solar eclipse is coming! On August 21, 2017, campgrounds from the Oregon Coast to the shores of South Carolina were swamped by campers crowding to get under the shadow of the solar eclipse. Many campground owners weren’t prepared for the crazy, carnival-like atmosphere the eclipse caused, and parks throughout North America took note to be better prepared the next time the sun disappeared at midday. Well, it’s all going to happen again on Monday, April 8, 2024, and if you’re an RVer who doesn’t want to be left in the sunlight this time, it isn’t too early to start making your plans. Continue reading.
How it happened: The history of our favorite fire-preventing Smokey Bear
You may have driven your RV past his famous image. You’ve probably known him since you were a child. I’m talking about Smokey Bear, the iconic character dressed in jeans and sporting that distinctive ranger’s hat. For more than 70 years, Smokey Bear has reminded campers: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” Learn all about Smokey Bear here.
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 would you like to win a Folding Camping Table?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 2, 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.
Can I use mineral oil to lubricate my RV’s dump valve?
My RV’s waste tank valves are starting to stick. A fellow camper suggested mineral oil to lubricate the dump valve. What are your thoughts on lubricating waste tank valves? —Charlie
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Yep, another neat RV toilet: Camco Travel Toilet review
By Tony Barthel
I am not going to only do reviews of toilets moving forward, but today I am looking at another portable toilet, the Camco Travel/Camping Toilet. I brought one of these on a recent trip testing out the Four Wheel Campers Hawk model pop-up camper and ended up liking it quite a bit. But there are some issues.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
OK, this is WAY too cute. And it’s for men, women and kids! You’re going to get so many compliments on this in a couple of weeks!
with Mike Sokol
Should RV parks meter power? Part 2
Last week’s article about RV parks installing Smart Pedestals to meter power sure struck a nerve. While 60% of you who took the survey said that metering power was okay as long as it would guarantee stable electricity, there were many caveats added in the comments. Let’s review a few of the most common comments and how I responded.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Side-by-side video of new SoftStartRV
RV Tire Safety
Videos from Goodyear worth watching
By Roger Marble
I strongly recommend every RV owner watch these four videos from Goodyear. They cover: Tire sizing; Tire storage, cleaning and removal; Tire wear, care and wheel alignment; and Tire pressure.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
RV Short Stop
Whooping cranes, The Big Tree in Texas
By Julianne G. Crane
With a little luck and good timing, it is possible to spot endangered whooping cranes and admire the biggest Coastal Live Oak Tree in Texas. This time of year they are both just a few miles north of the coastal art and fishing community of Rockport/Fulton.
RV Fire Safety
Help prevent RV engine fires
A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Emma’s favorite thing about camping is loading up in the backseat of the side-by-side and going to the top of the pass.” —Paul Steffens
Which caterpillar has a UNIQUE PATTERN? (Which one doesn’t have a match?) [Hint: The tail color counts in the pattern, too.]
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Observed on the back of a Winnebago motorhome in Minnesota:
“Poor Gas Mileage for a Vehicle, Great for a Home”
There are a few different stories behind the meaning of the word “April,” but we like this theory the most: The word “April” comes from the verb “aperire,” which means “to open.” It is believed that the word refers to the season when trees and flowers begin to “open” or bloom.
Laugh of the Week
You absolutely have to see Benson, the once-street-cat now-famous fashionista. You’re going to crack up. Just look at him! And what patience!
“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, James Raia, 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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