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June 4, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Maybe we should just stay indoors…
The great outdoors is not a “personal plaything”
By Andy Zipser
nother month, another marketing opportunity for the people trying to sell you stuff, another disappointment to Mother Nature. In this case, the stuff is anything to do with getting out of the house, as June is officially designated Great Outdoors Month, “a month to celebrate the outdoors and recognize outdoor recreation’s contributions to the mental, physical and economic health of the United States.”
Or that’s how it’s explained in a somewhat tone-deaf promotional release from the RV Industry Association, coming as it is on the heels of multiple mass shootings, the biggest wildfires in New Mexico’s history, skyrocketing fuel and housing costs and other suggestions that the country’s mental, physical and economic health isn’t quite up to snuff. But urging Americans to get out of the house in June has been a thing since 1998, when Bill Clinton was the first to sign off on the idea, and so we can look forward to a litany of events coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), whose members “represent the thousands of businesses that produce vehicles, equipment, gear, apparel and services for 144 million outdoor enthusiasts.”
National Go RVing Day, as well as National Get Outdoors Day, are both scheduled for June 11. But also on the calendar will be National Trails Day, the Great American Campout and National Marina Days, all promoted by various ORR members, including the aforementioned RVIA. And as a special bonus—as we wait with bated breath for the U.S. Supreme Court to hit us with its newest ideas about the unenumerated rights we can enjoy—this year’s Great Outdoors Month “will also focus on the principles of Together Outdoors, working to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation.”
Not to be an old sourpuss, but here’s a contrarian thought: Maybe we should be encouraging people to stay the hell indoors until they understand that “the great outdoors” is not a personal plaything. Or just a bigger, grander version of Disneyland.
Our Beginner’s Guide to RVing Newsletter is returning on Monday! If you’re a beginning RVer or know someone who is, sign up for this daily newsletter, where you’ll learn all the RVing basics (and much more!). If you don’t enjoy it or feel it’s not for you, you can always unsubscribe.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “There are choices here including an optional battery system, propane system, lighting, high-performance vent fans, side swing-up doors, windows and more. You could push this into the price of a smaller trailer if you checked all the option boxes on the order form. It’s interesting to see how a couple’s shared passions are turning into a viable business, and one that I can see extending even past this RV boom.”
This week on Tony and Peggy Barthel’s StressLess Camping podcast: Is your data secure on the road? How you do avoid losing your most important files and information and how can you prevent being hacked? In this podcast, we get our geek on and share tips and ideas for keeping your most precious information secure. All that and much more here.
He woke up to a man at his campsite asking for help. Should he have trusted him?
By Nanci Dixon
Back in January, I wrote a story about trusting a stranger’s help on the side of the road. One of our readers, Tim Slack, wrote in and told me his experience of being the one helping someone stranded. He wrote: “Just read the ‘trust a stranger?’ story on RVTravel.com and thought I’d tell you my own. It absolutely raised the same question in my mind then….” Continue reading this nail-biting story here.
RV boo-boos: RV industry poster child. NOT!
“Life’s an adventure—Go RVing!” So ran the slogan of the RV industry for some time. One self-described “inept newbie RV-lifer,” Jennifer, might be the candidate for exactly what the industry wouldn’t want to portray. Read more about this lucky newbie.
Coast Guard pilots transform helicopter into incredible RV
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a helicamper! Blake Morris and Maggie Morgan, both helicopter pilots in the U.S. Coast Guard, have been busy. They’ve spent more than 900 hours working to transform a helicopter body into a roadworthy RV. Check this out!
. . . And then watch this video about Winnebago’s production model “flying motorhome” Yes, this is a true story about how the famous RV manufacturer built a comfy flying RV in a modified Sikorsky helicopter. Read the article and watch the video.
TIP: If you’re in Texas today, grab your fishing pole: It’s Free Fishing Day in all public waterbodies, no state license required.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
• I discovered the best way to rid the RV of insect creepy-crawlies
• These two great satellite apps make lining up satellite dishes easy
• 22 tips and gadgets to make the most of a small RV kitchen
• Save $$ on fresh fruits and veggies—Pick your own!
• How to protect your RV’s decals from fading and sun damage
Safely carry LP cylinders in your pickup with this clever mod
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Towable RV owner? Then you’ve probably needed to transport your rig’s LP cylinders in for a fill-up, while the RV stays put. It’s important to move them safely. The propane industry is emphatic: LP cylinders should be transported upright, and secured so they won’t fall, shift, or roll around. If you’ve ever tried transporting an LP cylinder in a pickup, you know how difficult it can be to wrangle the durn things. Here’s a do-it-yourself modification that can help you stay safe.
Your RV trip needs a CHO – a Chief Happiness Officer
By Gail Marsh
I could not believe what I was reading. A popular business publication had an article about the vital role the CHO holds within a company. I’d never heard of a CHO. I’m familiar with CFO and CEO, but CHO? (Don’t you just love acronyms?!) Turns out a CHO is the Chief Happiness Officer. I’m not kidding! … It got me thinking: Do RV trips need a CHO, too? Find out here.
7 of the most unusual, must-visit Midwest tourist attractions
By Gail Marsh
I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa. Because my dad raised a few dairy cattle, we never took a family vacation. That is, not until my mom discovered The House on the Rock. It was my first Midwest tourist attraction. I still remember it like we visited yesterday. … Ever since that childhood vacation, I’ve made a point to check out any and all Midwest tourist attractions along our travel routes. Read about some of these great locations here.
Are you a member of Harvest Hosts and/or Boondockers Welcome?
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The long, long RV trip, Week 1: RVing sites and attractions in Las Vegas and beyond
By Cheri Sicard
The time was fast approaching to depart on my long, long RV trip. For me, trips like this always bring on a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Thankfully, not in equal measures. I also know that once I get going, most of the anxiety melts away… at least most of the time. As I had done everything I could to prepare well for the 6 months or so cross-country journey, I relaxed. I went out to dinner with my family, hitched up the next morning, gave more hugs all around, and hit the road. Continue reading about Cheri’s very busy first week on the road here. [BTW, Cheri is a great tour guide. You’ll enjoy this.]
Our country must find hope within the Survivor Tree
By Gail Marsh
It was just about a month after the 9/11 attacks when a survivor was discovered amidst the ruins. A Callery pear tree was rescued, barely alive, from the rubble by recovery workers. … Was it worth saving? Yes. At a time when the entire country witnessed so much death and destruction, saving the Survivor Tree was worth the effort. … Continue reading about this amazing tree and its ongoing message of resilience and hope to communities throughout the country suffering tragedies.
Majority of RVtravel.com readers would like to own an RV park. Former campground owner says ‘stay away’
By Andy Zipser
RVtravel.com regularly runs reader polls to take its audience’s temperature. Most are of only passing interest to me personally, but the one that ran May 22 hit home—as did the responses and how they shifted over time. The question was: “If you were given the opportunity to own and operate an RV park, would you?” And unlike most RVtravel.com polls, which typically provide a range of possible responses, this one expressly did not. As the poll makers wrote, “You’ve got to choose between a simple ‘yes’ and a simple ‘no.’ …” Read Andy’s analysis of the results, and why there was a huge turnaround in them, 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 LEGO RV set?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 4, 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.
How can I charge my engine battery when connected to shore power?
My converter, Progressive Dynamics PD9130V Inteli-Power, only charges the 2-6v lead acid, deep cycle house batteries. I wish it would charge both the house and chassis batteries. Are there any negative issues connecting a 3-amp Battery Tender to a 110v outlet on the RV to keep the chassis battery charged while the RV is connected to shore power? —Pablo, 2002 Fleetwood Bounder 31W
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Remember when you used to live off this stuff? Well, now you can do it all over again! But with this, it’s way more fun…
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
With Tony Barthel
Lippert LP tank level monitor. Every RV should come with this
Today’s review is of the Lippert LP Tank Sensor. You can read this whole story or just know that this is absolutely going on my list of must-have RV gadgets. Period. End of story.
Oh, OK. You can read Tony’s rave review about this cool gadget here.
with Mike Sokol
Ford F-150 Lightning towing range with Hi-Lo trailer
You may remember my beginning EV towing tests from last July where I used a Volkswagen ID.4 EV to tow both a Safari Condo Alto and a MyPod XT trailer. The mileage range while towing an EV trailer was less than spectacular, with a loss of 50% range at highway speeds being typical. Of course, this contributes to range anxiety and a lot more charging stops than you may have planned for during a camping trip.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Some like it hot (not)… Relief for hot flashes
RV Tire Safety
By Roger Marble
Why do ST-type tires have more pressure gain than LT-type tires?
The main reason for ST-type trailer tires to gain more pressure than the LT tires, is that they are forced to support more load relative to their size and inflation than LT tires are.
Operating an RV Park
By Machelle James
Memorial Day weekend update, and a big Thank You!
I think I could have had a heart attack last week. The stress level for us to get the store opened and the sites cleaned before our guests arrived for Memorial Day weekend was more than I bargained for. First off, our landscapers canceled and I could not get anyone to come in at such short notice to weed-whack and clean up the sites. Let’s just say, the new landscaper is the one typing this article. …
Recipe of the Day
Marv’s Instant Pot French Dip sandwich is better than anything you’d find at a restaurant. The roast cooks for a while in the pressure cooker so the meat becomes extremely tender and just falls apart. The au jus is packed with flavor and is fantastic for dinner. Super simple, this French Dip is seriously delicious.
Readers’ Pets of the Day
“Sibling 9-year-old Westies, Harley and Bailey, who love to travel with Mom and Dad.” —Ty Sell
Nate finds that by wearing different combinations of the jackets, shirts, and pairs of pants that he owns, he can create ninety different outfits. If he owns five jackets and three pairs of pants, how many shirts does he own?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
You can thank potatoes the next time you’re on a flight with Wi-Fi. When Boeing needed to test Wi-Fi signals on their planes, instead of using expensive test dummies or hiring subjects to sit in the seats, Boeing filled the seats with large piles of potatoes. The dense, starchy mass in each seat absorbed the Wi-Fi signals much like a human would. With potatoes in each seat, they were able to successfully test and set up in-flight Wi-Fi.
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.
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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, Julianne Crane, Chris Guld, 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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