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May 14, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Make RV life easier with these 396 tips using everyday items
By Gail Marsh
iving the RV life means relaxation, new places to see, and many more relationships to enjoy. You’ll have more time for all of that with some simple tips and tricks that use items you probably already have with you in your “vacation home on wheels.”
I’ve written a lot (and I mean a lot) of lists about using common, everyday items in and around your RV. Here’s a list of all, or at least most, of those articles.
20 smart uses for rubber bands while RVing
Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference when camping. Take rubber bands, for example. They are small but mighty! And they can come in handy in the RV, in many more ways than you think! Just read on and you’ll see why in these 20 smart uses for rubber bands.
12 unusual uses for pennies inside and outside your RV
“Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” You may have heard this saying when you were little, like I did. I’m not sure about the guarantee of “good luck,” but I do know that there are several unusual uses for pennies that just might help in and around your RV. Take a look and see for yourself.
Don’t throw out your Pringles can! Use it these 11 ways in your RV
They are a favorite for campers: Pringles chips. You know what they look like and how they taste, but did you ever wonder how Pringles were invented and what you can do with the tubes they come in? Read on!
Click here to continue reading 24 more articles like this. Yes, 24 more articles! Gail has worked so hard on these! Spend some time here—you’ll have fun!
From the publisher
Why our new robot writer frightens me
By Chuck Woodbury
A week ago I told you about a new service I discovered that uses artificial intelligence to write articles. I gave it a try. It horrified me. Yet I was so curious to learn more about it that I signed up for a trial subscription. I call the new service “Johnny Robot.” And, the more I learn about “him” the more “he” frightens me. Read more.
Campground owners discuss campsite waitlists. Are they worth it or too hard to manage?
By Mike Gast
Campgrounds in popular locations have long used campsite waitlists to handle backlogs of RVers waiting for an open spot. While many park owners still work to maintain their ever-growing waiting lists to give those at the top first dibs on sites when cancellations occur, more than a few are forgoing the waitlists and relying instead on a first-come, first-served process. Continue reading to learn what a few campground owners are doing about camper waitlists.
Today’s RV review…
2022 Coachmen Freelander 26DS – small but spacious
Tony writes, “I like the balance of the exterior size with the interior function of this quite a bit. Further, this is far cheaper than many Class B RVs (vans) while offering significantly more functionality.”
This week on Tony and Peggy Barthel’s StressLess Camping podcast they discuss an RV’s fresh water system and explain it in simple terms. Also: The best shower head for your RV, the best RV inline water sanitizer, and much more. Listen here.
RV toolbox essentials – Don’t leave home without them!
If you’ve been on the road at all, you’ve experienced it: Something on your rig broke. You can’t always get help with the fixing—you need to do it yourself. Being prepared with a few tools and some of the essential “emergency supplies” can go a long way to making it easier. What toolbox essentials should you have on hand? Find out here.
RVtravel.com offers much more than just newsletters. Check this out
By Gail Marsh
Are you “click averse?” It’s my tendency, for sure. If you’re like most folks, you probably open the RVtravel.com newsletter, read the articles, perhaps comment, and you’re done. You may be surprised to learn that with a few simple additional clicks, you can get more out of our website and publications. A lot more.
Many wonderful adventures are covered in this week’s “On the road again”
With Nanci Dixon
On the road again! Readers share their travel stories. Join us for some armchair travels and share yours, too! This week readers tell us about their ongoing and/or upcoming trips to Canada and Alaska from Texas, a trip to the East Coast, just returning from a multi-month trip from Michigan to Texas, an adventurous couple’s list of RV trips all over the world, and some more favorite travel tunes. All that and much more here.
Five items on every boondocker’s wish list
Many RVers are drawn to off-grid camping or “boondocking,” as we like to call it. It offers nature in its most undisturbed state and at a much lower cost…. The challenges of boondocking are what most people think of when contemplating a wish list for dispersed camping. Here are five items on every boondocker’s wish list.
Our robot answers dumb RVing questions
EDITOR’S NOTE: The answers to these stupid questions were written by our only non-human writer, Johnny Robot. Johnny writes using artificial intelligence. “He” has read about 10 percent of the internet and can come up with a story about almost everything, usually with surprising accuracy. But, not always! But Johnny has no sense of humor, so he doesn’t know when you are pulling his “leg,” as we are here. Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny … You’re trying so hard to sound human.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
• A reminder if you have hydraulic leveling jacks or slide-out system
• You can be TOO nice of a campsite neighbor. Don’t do these four things.
• Maintaining your relationship in a small space. How to make it work
• Will weight on rear of RV trailer off-balance the rig?
• What you need to know about resealing your RV’s exterior
Around the Campfire: ‘Help! Our new RV has problems!’
With Gail Marsh
What can you do if you’re not happy with your newly purchased RV? What can you do if you have serious problems with your new RV? If you voice your concerns to your RV dealer and he refuses to (or claims he can’t) help—what then? Is there any recourse for buyers? This was the latest topic around the campfire. Continue reading.
Your RV isn’t safe in a tornado. How to be prepared in case of a last-minute warning
By Dale Wade
A year ago around this time, the Weather Emergency Alert alarm sounded on my phone. I opened it to see a message that I never wanted to see: Emergency Alert National Weather Service: TORNADO WARNING in this area until 5:30 PM CST. It all happened in less than two minutes. After that, no sound, no wind, no shaking. We just felt a sense of relief in that we had, in fact, just lived through a tornado. Continue reading for important safety tips.
RV Prospector: Be on the lookout for ancient streambeds
By Randall Brink
RV prospectors who frequently camp on any of the millions of acres of public lands administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, or Department of Agriculture U.S. Forest Service may find themselves in remote country with a good chance of discovering a geological anomaly: an ancient streambed. Learn how to identify them and why they are a potentially rich source of placer gold.
RV boo-boos: Don’t “fall” for the view like this guy!
Sightseeing, the staple diet of many RVers. We’re not sure what happened to the driver of this motorhome rental. Perhaps the Yosemite sights were too much, and they got a bit too close to the edge. It’s a good reminder for all of us. If the view is gorgeous, pull over and admire it! Don’t “fall” for the view—it could be an expensive habit! Check this out.
In the past year, has a parts shortage delayed a repair on your RV?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
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.
How would you like to win a Portable Vacuum?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (May 14, 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!
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.
How can I tell if my converter is charging?
I noticed that my house batteries do not seem to be charging when I am plugged into power in a campground or at home. I replaced them this spring and am wondering if the inverter/charger has gone bad, or could it be something else? How can I tell if my converter is charging? —Gregg, 2016 Winnebago Sightseer
Click here to see more questions for Dave.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
The latest, greatest issue of our RV Great Accessories is hot off the press! It has (almost) every gizmo, every gadget, every absolutely fun thing you could ever imagine in it!
By Mike Sokol
Can I put a generator in the back of my EV to charge it while driving?
My article last week on the range of electric vehicles while towing had a few interesting comments and questions. In fact, I get direct emails every week with the same basic question: Can I run a small generator in the back of my EV truck to help recharge it while driving or towing a trailer?
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Just for fun: A Nutella vs. peanut butter poll
NEW! Visit Mike’s new RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.
RV Tire Safety
What is the “root cause” of a tire failure?
By Roger Marble
“Root cause” is the initiating condition or first cause. Someone having a temperature is not a root cause or proof of an infection, but is an indicator that there is probably an infection of some sort. A “blowout” is not considered the root cause of a tire failure—just the final condition. 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.
NEW! Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his new RV Tires Forum.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This is so funny. It says, “Wow effect guaranteed.” Well, guess you better say “Wow!” then! Just make sure no squirrels (or wives) are harmed in the making…
RV Short Stop
Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption
By Julianne G. Crane
Sitting in the middle of a vast, abundant expanse of Iowa farmland is the Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption. Making this structure further unique is that it is assembled from fancy rocks in a location where few, if any, deposits of precious geological specimens exist. This rare religious composition was the vision of Father Paul M. Dobberstein (1872-1954). He was pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in West Bend, Iowa, for 57 years.
RV Fire Safety
First things first in case of RV fire
Without question, the first rule of RV firefighting is to save lives first and property second. Your priority is to get your family safely out of the RV and then, if you can do so without endangering yourself or others, use the firefighting aids available to you. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Deluxe Honey Pecan Chicken Salad
by Debbie Quimby from Vicksburg, MS
We could eat this chicken salad for lunch every day. It’s that good. Sweet, with just a hint of tang, the dressing is delicious. When the dressing is mixed with the chopped chicken breast, pecans, grapes, and dried cranberries, it’s a wonderful bite. Serve in lettuce cups, as a sandwich, or just enjoy this chicken salad right from the bowl. It’s light and refreshing for summer.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“They love to camp—anywhere we go! Cricket is the ‘guard dog’ and Ranger is the party animal. But they love a good nap in the hammock!” —Julie Lawson
A word I know, six letters it contains, remove one letter and 12 remains. What is it?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Back in the early days of radio broadcasting, producers discovered that background noise, or the sounds of a crowd, was recreated if they had their actors repeat the phrase “walla walla” over and over again. What’s interesting, though, is that this phrase is different depending on countries. Americans say “walla walla,” but the British actors say “rhubarb rhubarb.” German actors repeat “rhabarber rhabarber,” and Japanese actors say “gaya gaya.” Hear “walla walla” in action.
Laugh of the Week
“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.
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?
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, 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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I had to wait a week for car parts and was lucky nothing major on the trailer. But things according to Chrysler are backed up.
Your story on robot writers had an ad for a wireless plant condition monitoring system…….I laughed at the irony or a story on robot writers replacing writers, and an ad replacing workers monitoring plant equipment. (The ad probably placed there by an AI system (robot) placing ads via reader interest. I am a retired Control Systems Engineer so the ad was probably placed for me.)
Automation isn’t something new, the fact that we are reading these stories on a phone……..has wiped out thousands of newspaper and magazine jobs, before that TV, before that radio, newspapers, town criers, and stone tablet makers.
PS AI bots wrote 3/4 of the last elections stories……critical thinking is much needed skillset today. Long time reader and lover of this sites stories and writers (if they were indeed human) 😎
Thanks, Dave. Yep, up until Johnny Robot, all of our writers have been, and still are, very much human. (I’d like to see Johnny Robot sit in on one of our frequent Zoom meetings. 😆 ) Have a great day! 😀 –Diane
Thank you for your interesting and informative articles!
I have been to the Grotto in Iowa. It is so beautiful. Worth a visit.
We, too, have been to The Grotto in West Bend Iowa. For anyone traveling in that area it is definitely worth staying there and seeing this wonderful work of art. So peaceful there it will relax you. Also if you are a dog lover like we are and we travel with two four-legged babies, you should know that the entire area is pet friendly. This is well worth your stop if you’re ever traveling in this area.
I grew up within 20 miles of the Grotto and have visited it many times. It is well worth a few hours visitation.