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April 23, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Work campers are a valuable commodity for labor-hungry campground owners
By Mike Gast
here may never be a better time to be a work camper.
The ever-increasing cost of the RVing lifestyle, along with new factors such as the “Great Resignation,” have many full-time RVers giving work camping another look.
Campground owners—just like every other employer in America—struggle to find and retain good workers.
“Last year we saw our biggest numbers yet,” said Jody Duquette, owner of Workamper® News, a website that pairs workers with available jobs. “All businesses are struggling to find people for jobs.”
Working your way across the country
Work campers have long been a key nomadic work force for campground owners. Deals struck between owners and work campers vary widely, with some working a set number of weekly hours in exchange for a free or reduced-price campsite. Other owners, now more than ever, are also including a small wage and other benefits to lure and keep good workers. Most work campers are couples, although single travelers are becoming more common. Campground jobs can vary widely from front desk to landscaping and housekeeping to specialized skills such as plumbing and electrical work.
Compensation for their work is also a mixed bag.
Services such as Workamper News essentially act as “dating services” for park owners and potential work campers. Owners post available jobs on the website, and work campers post resumes listing their skills and desired locations.
Publisher’s Roadside Journal
“Poo Poo” Journalism
By Chuck Woodbury
A headline got my attention last week. It was titled “The Top 15 Amenities You’ll Find in a Luxury RV.” It’s written by a woman named Jennifer (I will not use her last name). My guess is that Jennifer doesn’t know a damn thing about RVs. She’s a content creator, which means, of course, that she creates content. In the old days this person might be called a writer. It also means she creates content for one basic reason (other than to earn some money): to get the articles, no matter how worthless, ranked high on Google, so more people click to read it, which means more $$$ for the publisher. It’s the new “journalism.” Or, as I would prefer, “journalism gone wrong!” … You won’t believe what Jennifer wrote.
The hidden danger of formaldehyde in RVs
Over the years there has been much discussion and many articles written about formaldehyde present in RVs and the effect it can have on owners. Probably the biggest story was the FEMA trailers purchased during the Hurricane Katrina disaster that sat in a field in the Midwest over the summer. Once they were distributed and sold, people were getting sick due to the high levels of formaldehyde in them. Continue reading about formaldehyde in RVs and Dave Solberg’s experience with same here.
Test your motorhome air brakes—Here’s how
When Fred Flintstone brought his Stone Age car to a stop, it frequently resulted in road-rashed feet. If Fred had taken up RVing, one can only imagine the frequent visits to Bedrock’s podiatrist. Fred put his feet to the test. The question is, do you put your air brakes to the test—every travel day? Find out exactly how to do it in this thorough article from Russ and Tiña De Maris.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “I like the look and floor plan of this trailer, and the higher ceiling and larger bed are both positive features. There’s also a good amount of storage in the pass-through compartment up front. The company uses Azdel in the construction. In fact, there are a number of positive features in the build of this trailer.”
RV “influencer” article creates a lot of “buzz”
By Dave Solberg
I wrote an article last week about some of the information being provided in articles and blogs in various publications online from RV influencers. It was an extremely popular article and topic, so I thought I would share some of the comments I received, which would help provide a follow-up to the conversation. Continue reading.
If you plan to buy or sell your RV online, read this first
By Janet Groene
An Oregon couple plans to retire in 2023 and hopes to travel by RV for five years. They narrowed their choice to a Class C motorhome. On their “must” list are Brand A or Brand B … No local dealers could find anything close to their needs, so they went online. They found good candidates in Rhode Island, southern Illinois and Louisiana. With their work schedule, they can’t go in person. Should they buy sight unseen? …Read great tips for buying or selling your RV online from Janet Groene and Rachel Heseltine, Vice-President of Consumer Growth at RVTrader.com, here.
A big “yikes” mistake: Pumping the wrong fuel
By Gail Marsh
You know it. The problem is that you didn’t know it soon enough. It’s getting late. You’re hoping to arrive at your campsite before dark. This should be the last fueling of the day. You’re in a hurry, anxious to get back on the road. There! Fueling’s done. But … wait! No. Nooooooo! You suddenly realize that you’ve accidently pumped from the wrong fuel nozzle. You just put $75 worth of regular gasoline into your diesel truck. … What to do? Find out here.
Highlights from this weeks RV Daily Tips Newsletter
• 12 unusual uses for pennies inside and outside your RV
• We got our flush wand stuck in our water heater!
• These are six critical photos to keep on your phone
• Take steps to boondocking
• Five good reasons to attend an RV rally
Readers share their “on the road again” stories
Nanci Dixon and her husband are “on the road again.” To say she is excited is an understatement. Nanci shares some highlights of their trip so far, as well as sharing some of your stories about your RVing travels, here.
How it Happened: A vehicle’s identification number (VIN) and what it means
Your fingerprints are unique. No two people in the world have the exact same fingerprints. Not even identical twins. Your fingerprints help to identify you. A vehicle identification number, or VIN, is the same. It acts as a vehicle’s fingerprints. The VIN is unique to the vehicle for which it’s assigned. No two vehicles share the exact same VIN. Gail Marsh explains the history and purpose of the VIN here.
Want to know more about your diesel pusher or diesel Super C? This might be your answer
By Roger Stickley
Each year since 1990, the Ramblin’ Pushers have offered an event that focuses specifically on proper maintenance and safe operation of Class A and Super C diesel coaches. The event was started by a group of Holiday Rambler owners who met in the spring to get their annual maintenance tasks performed and share their knowledge of coach systems with each other. They called their gathering a Maintenance Session (MS for short), to distinguish it from more casual, socially oriented RV rallies. … In 2022, the event will take place April 28 – May 5. Learn more. (It’s not just for Holiday Rambler owners.)
Around the Campfire: Will the RV bubble burst soon… or not?
By Gail Marsh
As a child I feared balloons. (Not the ones that were already inflated.) I worried when someone was in the process of inflating the balloon. My angst grew right along with the size of the balloon. I hated even thinking about the loud and sudden pop that might happen. Well, many RVers are waiting for a similar “pop”—they’re waiting for the RV bubble to burst. Some eagerly look forward to it, while others have real fear about it happening. Continue reading.
FREEBIE TIP: If you’re in Minnesota right now, consider heading out to a state park. Admission is free.
Have you ever stayed longer than planned in a campground due to bad weather?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
Ghost Town Trails – Tunnel Camp, Nevada
By Dave Helgeson
Tunnel Camp, Nevada, is the featured ghost town in this month’s installment of Ghost Town Trails. It is located a day or two drive north from last month’s visit to Bonnie Claire. Tunnel Camp came into existence in late 1926 to support the digging of a nearly two-mile-long “deep” tunnel to connect with the mines in nearby Seven Troughs. Continue reading Tunnel Camp’s interesting history.
Win a stay in Barbie’s motorhome! We kid you not!
Win a dream weekend in a life-size Barbie™ Dream Camper! How cool is that?! One lucky family can win three days and two nights in a real, life-size Barbie Dream Camper motorhome. Check this out!
Why would a gift basket company build these trailers?
By Paul Lacitinola
Quite possibly the holy grail of the trailer world is the Geographic Model X, produced by Harry & David, better known for their mail-order fruit and gift baskets. Looking for a way to keep workers busy during the January to July off-season, the president of Harry & David, David Holmes, decided to have his workers build a new travel trailer. Continue reading.
RV prospector: Advantages of the handy, compact, easy-to-use Grizzly Sluice III
By Randall Brink
Many years ago, when I started looking for ways to increase the amount of gravel I could process in a day, I found the sluice box to be the best choice for the lone prospector. … [T]he Keene A-51 standard sluice is a great product, as are many others like it in its classic design. I still have one and still use it. But there are times when a quick, effortless setup, combined with the near-total recovery of mineral values, is the way to go. That’s what I discovered with the Grizzly Sluice. Read about it here.
The sad truth why the American bumble bee is disappearing
By Dale Wade
What do the ecosystems of Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon have in common? The American bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) has disappeared from each. … Quickly becoming extinct, American bumble bee numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent over the last 20 years. Continue reading.
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 NOAA Emergency Weather Radio?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (April 23, 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.
I applied Eternabond to my RV and it is wrinkled. Now what do I do?
Hi, there. I just put Eternabond tape on the side top of my RV running front to back. Talk about wrinkles galore. Very hard tape to work with. Any suggestions to remove and start over or how to get rid of the wrinkles? Thanks for your time. —Tim, 2011 Heartland Edge M21
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
with Tony Barthel
Duxtop portable induction cooktop
Today’s gadget review is of a Duxtop 1800-watt portable induction cooktop. How is this related to camping? Actually, it is and we tried it out on a recent trip where my wife, Peggy, went tent camping off the grid. Seriously. I am fascinated by induction cooking—which is essentially using magnets to excite the molecules in the pan. … My fascination stems from the fact that induction cooking literally is faster and cleaner than using gas. When it’s off, it’s off. And it’s portable. Learn more.
I love this hop-infused sparkling water. Tastes like beer but without the calories or alcohol
Beer. I love it. And, perhaps, that’s why I displace so much water in the pool. After all, beer is a lot of empty calories. Delicious, delicious calories. So when my wife and I decided to cut out a lot of things that weren’t good for us, beer, unfortunately, was high on that list. For those of you who know me, you should recognize that almost completely eliminating beer from my menu was quite a change. I’m sure the local breweries have all had to make some financial changes to their spreadsheets. Continue reading.
with Mike Sokol
I’ll be (virtually) at the Puyallup, WA, RV Show starting May 5th
While I was forced to miss presenting seminars at the Seattle RV Show a couple of months ago, through the miracle of technology, I will be teaching my RVelectricity MasterClass at the Puyallup (WA) RV show for three days in a row beginning Thursday, May 5th, from noon to 1:30 p.m. But I won’t be there physically. It will be a virtual me comprised entirely of electrons!
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: More ways to recharge an EV on the road
RV Tire Safety
with Roger Marble
Simple question: Why do tires fail?
Why do tires fail? In reality, tires fail for a relatively small number of root cause reasons that can be discovered, but it does require detailed and sometimes exhaustive investigation. By “root cause,” I mean the initiating feature or condition that eventually led to the failure. … For the last few years of my 40-year career as a tire engineer, my primary job duty was to investigate failed tires that had conditions that were hard to understand or provided confusing and sometimes contradictory evidence as to the root cause for their condition. With that background, I have developed some guiding principles for the most likely reasons for tires to fail.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
Operating an RV Park
Let the camping season begin!
By Machelle James
“AJ’s Getaway RV Park is officially open for the season!” Machelle reports on progress on the store, a broken water main to the house (over Easter), guests are already buying out their promotional items, and how happy she and AJ are that their dream is coming true—thanks to you!
Recipe of the Day
Make sure to marinate the beef for this stir-fry as long as Diana suggests. It soaks up the delicious marinade and adds the perfect Asian flavor to the dish. The broccoli is crunchy and a nice contrast to the tender meat. Serve over rice for an Asian-inspired meal.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Hi! I’m Angel, and I’m a 4-year-old Spaniel/Corgi mix! A year ago my mom rescued me from a shelter and we’ve been traveling ever since. This is one of my favorite spots to sit because I can look out the windows on both sides of our home (but I’m not allowed to be here while Mom’s driving). Mom says to ignore the pillow below me, but I think it’s funny!” —Joan Curtis
Send us a photo of your pet with a short description. We publish one each weekday in RV Daily Tips and in our Saturday RV Travel newsletter. No blurry photos, please! Please do not submit your photo more than once. Thanks!
With pointed fangs I sit and wait; with piercing force I crunch out fate; grabbing victims, proclaiming might; physically joining with a single bite. 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.)
????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Okay, we’ll admit, you might look a little bit ridiculous in this, but come on, it would be so helpful on certain days!
While tumbleweed is an icon of the American West, the annoying bushy plant actually hails from Russia. Back in the 19th century, Russian immigrants brought flax seed to the U.S. Those seeds just so happened to be contaminated with seeds from the Russian Thistle weed. By the time anyone noticed the annoying weed spreading, it was too late to stop it. One full-grown thistle plant has about 250,000 seeds! Even though it may be an annoyance to modern farmers, the weed once saved the beef industry. During the drought of the 1930s Dust Bowl, nothing would grow and cattle ranchers were struggling to feed their herds. The only thing that would grow? Russian Thistle, which fed entire cow pastures and saved their lives.
Laugh of the Week
This dish towel is too accurate! Made us laugh! You can get one for yourself here. (PG-rated website.)
“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 and Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Clint Norrell, Randall Brink, Chris Epting, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard and Dale Wade. 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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