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April 16, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
RV design makes mice infestation easy
By Chuck Woodbury
Sometimes you shake your head and wonder at something so outrageous that you marvel at how it came to be. Here’s an example.
Our editor Emily and I attended a Seattle-area RV show a couple of weeks ago. One of our advertisers, Tom Sharp, had a booth. We wanted to say hi and thank him for his support. Tom invented and sells a product called BoxKat. It’s for RVers and motorists who have problems with mice entering their vehicles and chewing wires. It’s a huge, costly problem, which you know if it’s happened to you (60% of our readers report it has).
Tom, Emily and I discussed mice and mice prevention. The most important way to keep them away, we all agreed, is to prevent them from entering our RVs or other vehicles to begin with. That’s where Tom’s product comes in.
Later, we explored some of the RVs on display. And, oh, my goodness, were we befuddled when we came upon a travel trailer with a ridiculous design flaw that begs rodents to come in, chew, and end up causing costly damage. I took photos. Everyone I have shown them to so far has marveled at how the design is one of the stupidest they have seen on an RV.
Psst: It’s free to enter all National Parks today! It’s the first day of National Park Week. So as soon as you’re finished reading this newsletter, grab your pass, your exploring buddy, your good shoes, a camera, some snacks, lots of water… and get out there and explore!
New wave of RV influencers spreading misleading, false information online
By Dave Solberg
I recently saw this quote online: “The problem with quotes found on the internet is that they are often not true.” —Abraham Lincoln
Did Abraham Lincoln really say that? Of course not! Anyone can post just about anything on the internet without the expertise or facts to back them up, and that’s exactly what some RV influencers are doing. The challenge today is that the RV industry is exploding and people are hungry for information. There are so many people that see the potential for making money with blogs, articles, “vlogs” and more as a result. You can’t blame them—they are making good money from it. But in many cases, the information they’re putting out there just isn’t true, and it can do a lot of damage to RVs! Continue reading, and always be very aware of the source of what you read online.
So this is what it’s like to downsize, huh?
By Randall Brink
With some sadness and a slight relief, I watched my beautiful 40’ Foretravel diesel pusher motorcoach roll off over the horizon toward its new home. I wasn’t expecting the mixture of melancholy and unbalance that I was feeling after owning that coach for many years. But there was no getting around the fact that selling the coach was the right thing for me to do at this juncture. It was time to downsize. Read more.
RVer’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger
By Dave Helgeson
In April of last year, my wife and I were traveling through central Nevada on the way to Death Valley when we learned about the death of a camper who became stranded there. … It inspired me to write an article on how the camper’s death could have been prevented with a satellite messenger. Sadly, less than a year later and a hundred miles or so northwest from where the camper perished last April, tragedy struck again as an RVer died after his motorhome got stuck in soft sand due to a navigation error. Continue reading.
Are you “on the road again”? Share your story with us
By Nanci Dixon
“‘On the Road Again’ by Willie Nelson is one of my most favorite songs! Every spring as we finally pack everything up and start heading north again (or south, or west or east), I blast ‘On the Road Again’ through the speakers in the motorhome. I seldom tire of it, even after looping it five or ten times! My husband does, though. I think it is because he has no control over the stereo system while he is driving….” Read about Nanci’s palpable excitement as they get ready to get on the road again here. Then we want to hear about your travels.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “This is certainly a rig that has some nifty aspects to it, so at least the designers seem to know what they’re doing. I like that reconfigurable table/desk, the big couch and the spacious bathrooms.” But is that all Tony likes? Well, maybe…
How it Happened: The disappearing (Murphy) bed
By Gail Marsh
You see them inside many of today’s RVs, yet one of the very first iterations of the “disappearing bed” (now known as a Murphy bed) was used in the Monticello bedroom of Thomas Jefferson. In those days, the bed was held by ropes and fastened in place by wall hooks in the daytime or when not in use. Continue reading this interesting history.
These RVers claim there is another reason behind poor quality RVs
We’ve heard all about it: The poor quality of RVs coming out of manufacturing plants during the past few years. Blame has been assigned to company bosses who set unreasonable production goals. Fault is also placed at the feet of crew bosses who continually urge their line laborers to “work faster.” Blame has also fallen on unskilled and/or unprofessional workers who seem okay just slapping things together. And on it goes. Gail Marsh found some interestings “reasons” on an RV forum for the “poor quality” of today’s RVs. Could newbies be to blame?
Highlights from this weeks RV Daily Tips Newsletter
• My top 5 RV hacks and tips
• Taking RV inventory: Does everything in our RV need to stay?
• Even more incredible tips for reusing Pringles cans in your RV
• Just what does a road grade sign mean?
• Work remotely (the right way) from your RV
Around the Campfire: A debate on campfires vs. open windows
By Gail Marsh
There’s been an ongoing discussion around the campfire for the past week. The “campfire vs. open windows feud” has potential to ruin two RVers’ camping experience. An RVer I’ll call “Campfires” likes to have a fire every evening. There’s another RV family that likes to keep their RV windows open. I’ll call them “Windows.” These two RVers are parked back-to-back in our campground. Windows’ RV sits downwind from Campfires’ RV. And there’s the problem.
RV boo-boos: Didja take off the toad brakes, Harry?
There’s a lot to be said for having an RV checklist. And using it. In this case, it may have saved money on tires, and certainly some embarrassment. Check this out.
Readers speak out about scary expensive RV repair bills
Here at RVtravel.com, we recently conducted a poll asking readers to tell about their highest RV repair bills. We expected to hear some whoppers, and the folks who commented didn’t disappoint. Read the poll results and what some readers had to say here.
Are you staying at a Jellystone Park or know someone who is? Check out their list of Easter and spring activities, some starting today!
Have you paid $100 or more a night for a campsite in the last year?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
It might be good to have old tires in your driveway
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An initial read of the headline might sound alarm bells in neighborhoods across the country. But think about it: If you’re a safety-conscious RVer, you know that the recommended lifespan of RV tires is but five years. That could produce a lot of old tires. Where are they gonna go? How about in your driveway? No, NOT ON your driveway, but IN your driveway. Read 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 would you like to win a Vintage Trailer Windchime?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 16, 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.
My RV’s kitchen sink holding tank does not drain
My RV’s kitchen sink has its own drain tank. I went to dump all my tanks and when I opened the one for the kitchen nothing ran out. I opened and closed the valve a couple times and just a little water came out. I’m scared my valve is closed and will not open. Any suggestions? —Ronald, 2018 Keystone Montana
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
SylvanSport Privy Bivy: Reining in Tony’s toilet posts
By Peggy Barthel
In an effort to contain Tony’s recent camp potty reviews, we got a SylvanSport privacy shelter, known on the SylvanSport website as the Privy Bivy. This article, today, is actually written by me, Tony’s wife, and is sort of a counter to all his recent toilet reviews. I was headed out for a tent-only campout, and the shelter arrived just in time to test it out.
with Mike Sokol
Can I power my 50-amp RV from an F-150 PowerBoost generator?
It looks like a number of readers have recently bought a new Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid pickup truck with the optional built-in 7.2kW inverter generator. As many of you know, I had a loaner PowerBoost for two weeks last July.
So, in addition to some basic towing tests with a Rockwood GeoPro toy hauler, I did a number of tests to see exactly how its built-in 7.2kW 120/240-volt generator actually works under real-world conditions. Read what Mike has learned so far.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Can I run a Ninja Foodi on an 800-watt inverter?
RV Tire Safety
with Roger Marble
“I just had a tire failure for no reason”
If you follow any RV forums you probably see a statement like this every few weeks. I can tell you that tires do not fail because of some RV-Magic. It comes down to actual Science. Why do tires fail? Simple question, but as with almost every question about tires, the answer is not a one-liner. This post isn’t short, but it really isn’t technical. I’m sure every reader will understand the concepts.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
What if we told you there was a gadget out there that could prevent your rig from being overweight? Well, this will certainly help.
with Karel Carnohan, DVM
Is sleeping with your pet healthy?
Is sharing your bed with your pet a good idea? As a lifelong pet owner who has shared her bed with many cats and dogs, I began to wonder if it was impacting my quality of sleep. I am now of a “certain age” when insomnia is becoming a significant problem. Are my cats keeping me up? What are the risks and benefits of sleeping with pets?
NEW! Have a question about traveling with your pet? Ask Dr. Karel on her new Ask the Pet Vet Forum.
RV Short Stop
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on Texas Coastal Bend
By Julianne G. Crane
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see RV short stop for those meandering along the Texas Coastal Bend. The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “is best known as the wintering home of the last wild migratory flock of endangered whooping cranes.” It also serves as a breeding ground and sanctuary for other migrating birds and native wildlife, including Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.
RV Fire Safety
Check rubber fuel lines monthly
Rubber fuel lines are commonly used to connect metal lines to the electronic fuel injection system, or to the carburetor in older coaches. Check all the lines and connections between the fuel tank and the engine on a monthly basis. If there is any sign of a leak, have the lines replaced and the entire system inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. —Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
If you are a peanut butter and chocolate lover you will love these homemade candies! The inside is fluffy, creamy, and full of peanut butter. We did put them in the freezer for a little while, so coating them in chocolate was a breeze. A platter of these at a springtime event or Easter will impress everyone. There were rumblings in the Test Kitchen that these were better than ones you can buy at the store!
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“This is my daily helper, Baby, when trying to work on my laptop!” —James Wagner
It’s a true Easter egg hunt! Well, except here you’re looking for the hidden bingo ball (which has the number 11 on it, by the way). It’s eggstremely hard, but we believe you can find it! Click the image to enlarge it.
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
The most covered Beatles song of all time is “Yesterday.” Other popular favorites such as “Hey Jude” and “With a Little Help From My Friends” have been covered many times, but none as many as “Yesterday,” which has been covered more than 2,200 times. You can listen to some of the covers on YouTube.
Laugh of the Week
“A football coach, holding a football, asks a player, ‘Son, can you pass this?’ The player says, ‘Coach, I don’t think I can even swallow it.'”
“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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