Welcome to RVtravel.com, the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At RVtravel.com, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.
If you shop at Amazon.com we’d appreciate you using this link. We get an itty bitty commission if you buy something, but they add up and help us pay our bills (most importantly our hard-working writers!).
June 11, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
The man who drove campers loopy
By Chuck Woodbury
Ibet you have never heard of Emilio Meinecke. I hadn’t until recently. If you are in a campground right now, whether in a national park, national forest or a KOA, please stop reading for a moment and walk out your RV’s front door and look around. You will see evidence of his work.
Emilio Meinecke, born in 1869, was a plant pathologist for the U.S. Forest Service. His major claim to fame, however, is as the inventor of the loop campground. It was about 90 years ago, in the early 1930s. His design changed camping forever. You know the design because you’ve seen it too many times to count — a one-way loop road, with auto pullouts every so often that designate individual campsites. In most cases, each site had (and often still does) a fireplace and/or campfire pit, picnic table and space for a tent (or today, an RV).
As the automobile became more a part of the camping experience in the early 20th century, Americans were heading out en masse to escape the messy, noisy cities to the beauty and solitude of nature. Between 1915 and 1930, the number of American campers jumped from 300,000 to 3 million.
The problem was, they were setting up camp anywhere and everywhere, and trampling down the land and flora in the process. In the California redwoods, they camped right next to the giant, 2,000-year-old trees. “One of the deplorable consequences of camping and long-continued milling of tourists around selected favorite [trees],” warned Meinecke, “is the almost complete eradication of undergrowth.” Furthermore, he noted, in a zone adjacent to the biggest trees, the most important and active roots were being destroyed by the simple act of walking.
The campers built campfires wherever they wished, and soon, the land was pockmarked with piles of ashes. Subsequent campers were not interested in camping in ashes, so they moved on, extending the damage farther into the countryside. They cut down trees and bushes to create their perfect campsite. Meinecke’s solution, the permanent loop campground situated away from a park’s main attractions, saved these precious lands from being loved and trampled to death.
MEINECKE’S DESIGN, with space between sites easily identified by barriers like boulders, plants and logs, made it very clear to campers where a campsite began and ended. Individual sites were spaced far enough apart that campers had an illusion of being away from others and “roughing it.”
The loop campground lost some popularity during the 1960s when Americans’ camping habits changed. Meinecke’s structured “McDonaldization” of camping (a term often used back then to criticize “generic” campsites) provided “the illusion of wilderness,” not wilderness itself. Visiting the real wilderness became hugely popular with backpackers, young Americans who wanted nothing to do in “their wilderness” with cars or, heaven forbid, RVs (Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Playhouse).
Today, as interest in backpacking has waned, the loop campground endures as the standard, where most of us are most comfortable staying. It’s unlikely it will be replaced by something better any time soon.
IN MY ROADSIDE JOURNAL: The agony of defeat in the barren Arizona desert. A night I will never forget — watching a nail-biting World Series game in the barren, remote, Arizona desert on the world’s smallest TV with coyotes as my companions.
GOODBYE, ANGRY READERS: We have begun banning certain angry readers from commenting on articles because they are being rude and disrespectful to others. Also, all commenters who use fake email addresses are gradually being weeded out. RVtravel.com is for honest, intelligent, open-minded, respectful people — Democrats, Republicans, Independents, it does not matter — who understand that not everyone shares their opinions of every single thing in life.
A few reminders
- Our Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletter is back in full swing. We just wrapped up the first week and we have another six months to go! If you’re a beginning RVer or know someone who is, this newsletter is for you or them! We spend six months walking you through the basics. By the end of those six months, you’ll be an RVing expert. Read yesterday’s issue here, and subscribe here.
- Don’t forget that we have a forum! If you have a question and need it answered quickly, this is the place. Our staff, experts, and fellow RVers will help you. Click here.
- You can print out these out-of-this-world subscribe cards and help us spread the word about RVtravel.com. If you like reading us, chances are that other RVers will too. We SO appreciate you helping us out!
- One final reminder: We appreciate you. Thank you for being here. Your readership, company and support mean the world to us.
Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19?
By Dave Helgeson
I recently found myself pondering the question: Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19? Here’s why: A few weeks ago, my wife had a persistent cough which she attributed to her asthma. Not wanting her longtime hairdresser to be concerned when she went to have her hair done, my wife took an at-home COVID-19 test so she could tell her hairdresser “It wasn’t COVID”. Turns out the test showed she was positive for COVID-19. Continue reading, then please share your thoughts (politely, of course).
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “This is a terrific floor plan that offers so many first-rate logical positions inside. There’s clearly a lounging place, an eating place and a kitchen. With just a little zip zip of the screw gun you also add a free breakfast bar, great travel access and a table for the chaise lounge too.
“Overall a terrific floor plan with a lot of cargo-carrying capacity and a bright, nicely done interior that’s quite inviting, by my taste.”
This week on Tony and Peggy Barthel’s StressLess Camping podcast: Ticks! One camper’s story of being bitten by ticks, contracting Lyme disease and what his personal story of recovery looked like. Great information for any RVer on how to avoid ticks, and what to do if you encounter one. Also, a new weight distribution hitch and The Henry Ford Museum. Listen here.
Our resident non-human staff writer answers your questions
Johnny answers these questions:
• Why does a mixture of water and hot sauce not work as an alternative to diesel fuel?
• Can an RVer get more power by stacking three solar panels on top of each other?
• A reader asks how he can win back his wife after she left him.
• And, why, indeed, did the chicken cross the road?
Readers share their stories: Should you trust a stranger?
By Nanci Dixon
Trust a stranger? It seems that many of our Good Samaritan readers do! Last week we published a story about trusting strangers by one of our readers, Tim Slack. We had so many responses with so many heartwarming stories of helping and being helped that I decided to publish some of them this week. Continue reading.
How to deal with losing your wallet while on the road
By Cheri Sicard
Losing your wallet while on the road during an RV trip. It was not something I had thought much about. Until it happened! The day started normally enough. I was near the start of Week 2 in my Long, Long RV Trip. I stopped for gas, got back in the truck and motored away toward my next destination. I stopped for fuel again about 125 miles down the road. That’s when panic set in. Continue reading for very important tips.
RV boo-boos: Did Willys build a motorhome?
Some clever soul took a Jeep and coupled it with a rolling home. Very interesting! Also, Brenda O. relates the tale: “I wish I HAD taken a photo, but I felt too sorry for the couple involved to embarrass them even further. If I could draw, a cartoon would work beautifully!” See the Jeep RV and read Brenda’s story here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- 11 ways to upcycle tin cans while RVing
- RV ladder safety and an important reminder about hidden damage
- Keeping an RV travel journal will prove to be incredibly helpful
- Don’t get stuck—Have a ‘Plan B’ when boondocking
- Five benefits of taking an RV vacation
Is the 2022 Ford Bronco the perfect flat towable car? I test drove it to find out.
By Nanci Dixon
Here was my experience on a 2022 Ford Bronco test drive. As a number of you know, and I am actually rather embarrassed that so many know, I am still looking after two years for the perfect, flat towable car. Back in December of 2020, I reviewed several options. Then, I reviewed several Jeeps. And I also test drove and reviewed the Buick Encore GX. None of them were “the one.” … Did Nanci finally find “the one”? Continue reading to find out.
It gets old showing you videos of RVs that have had devastating encounters with low bridges. But we will keep showing them to help remind you to be careful and pay attention to bridges and tunnels along your route that will rip your rigs apart if they dare try to pass through. Watch this heartbreaking video and weep!
How old are you?
We’ve asked you this before, but it’s been awhile. Our statistics show that our audience is getting younger. We wonder. Please help us understand if our stats are accurate.
MOST POPULAR POLL FROM LAST WEEK: Wind Chimes
We asked: “How do you feel about your RVer neighbors hanging out wind chimes?” What do you think? Did most readers say it was okay, or did most say they did not like it (even hate the practice)? Find out.
There are many “glamping” opportunities these days that involve staying in RVs that are not your own, some of them very beautiful or funky, and often in incredible settings. Considering the current price of gas and diesel, maybe you’d like to do some RVing without the cost of traveling to and from your destination in your own RV. Here are two very special RVs where you can stay without even needing your own RV to do it! We’ll show you more in future issues.
Around the Campfire: The many kinds of “RV travelers.” Which are you?
By Gail Marsh
Recently we had a lively discussion about the different kinds of RV travelers. The conversation teeter-tottered between a humorous and semi-serious tone. Yes, broad generalizations were made. Very broad. Keep that in mind as you “listen in” on the conversation. This is fun, and sometimes silly.
The incredible story of how the West’s last boomtown was saved by beer
By Randall Brink
Schlitz beer made Milwaukee famous, but it no doubt helped save the gold camp of Goldfield, Nevada, as well. Traveling over U.S. Highway 95 through western Nevada is one of the beautiful RV road trips in the American West. … On Highway 95, you’ll pass through what remains of the last gold rush boomtown, Goldfield, Nevada, about twenty miles south of Tonopah. … You’ll enjoy this! Continue reading.
The long, long RV trip, Week 2: Friday the 13th, road trip woes set in
Week 2 of Cheri Sicard’s road trip was not so blissful as Week 1, and contained some hard lessons about the importance of going with the flow when living on the road. Like there is any choice. Her bad luck started when she went to turn on the water heater to take a shower. It refused to light. Read all about how her trip went from bad to worse, and then even worse, here. Oh, my!
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.
Summer and its hot temps are on the way. This rechargeable necklace fan delivers crisp, cool air instantly. Just drop it around your neck, turn it on, and instantly enjoy a cool, refreshing breeze. Take it wherever you go. Wonderful! We like this fan so much that our very own Mike Sokol wrote a review about it!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 11, 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.”
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
• How do I replace the carpet in my RV’s slide room?
• When plugged into 50-amp, why doesn’t inverter power some items?
• What do I do about an E05 OL error code on Xantrex inverter?
• Why isn’t my trailer’s right turn signal working?
• What should I use to clean and protect RV’s fiberglass roof?
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Let the sun do your cooking with this solar oven
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
It is hot, hot, hot here in the Southern California desert where my house is—it will reach 114 F this week! Living in the desert in the summer requires some planning to keep cool. One thing I don’t like doing is cooking hot meals because it heats up the kitchen. I decided to see if a solar oven could help and did some research. I bought a highly rated solar oven from GoSun, which has many great off-grid products that are perfect for RVers. … Read Karel’s rave review of the GoSun Sport solar oven here.
Camco Eaz-Lift TR3 600 weight distribution hitch improves towing experience
For those towing a travel trailer, how much did you think about the hitch that is the bridge between your tow vehicle and the trailer? I have found that many people mostly pay attention to the truck but don’t give the hitch much thought. I was one of these until I spoke with the people at Camco who recommended I try the new Eaz-Lift® TR3 weight distribution hitch. As trailers become heavier and heavier, a weight distribution and sway control hitch does a lot to make the towing experience better. Learn more.
ALSO: If you missed yesterday’s issue of Tony’s Great RV Accessories newsletter, you’ll want to read it. If you’re unfamiliar with this newsletter, go ahead and make yourself familiar. Tony does such a wonderful job as editor, and it’s always so much fun to read. Plus, who doesn’t love learning about cool gadgets?!
If you want to sign up for the newsletter, you can do so here. It will come to your inbox once a month and you can always unsubscribe (but you won’t want to!).
The beautiful mid-century RVs of the Tillitson Travel Coach Company
By Paul Lacitinola
We had the pleasure of meeting up with Greg Tillitson at the Sacramento Auto Show. Sharing our vintage trailers with the public at shows and rallies often elicits stories of people’s pasts. Greg’s connection to the hobby was one of those moments that makes our hours at events worth it. Greg’s grandfather, Montgomery Frank Tillitson, owned Tillitson Travel Coach Company, and manufactured travel coaches, in Florida from 1938 to 1940. Greg shared his family photos of the Tillitson Travel Coach Company with us. Learn more.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
“Candy is dandy and liquor is quicker,” or so the saying goes. But take it from us, guys. Give these to your favorite lady and she’ll be yours forever (or at least for a few minutes).
with Mike Sokol
Open neutral danger account from a reader…
This picture and story just showed up on my RVelectricity Facebook group, and it’s a great reminder of why you really need an advanced surge protector on your RV (commonly called an EMS or Total Power Protection). Note that this pedestal would have measured as perfectly fine with an AC meter, but once the RV was hooked up and drawing power, the neutral conductor opened up and applied way more than 120 volts to one-half of the RV’s electrical system. This is important.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Mike gets “So kool” with an O2COOL personal fan…
RV Tire Safety
What margin should be used for Low Pressure Warning on TPMS?
A reader from Australia asks Roger Marble about setting a TPMS Low Pressure Warning level. Roger explains why the settings specified by the U.S. DOT for regular passenger car applications and the more specialized world of caravans (RVs, for us Americans)—both motorized and pull behind—are different. He also explains how to set the TPMS. Learn all about it here.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Last week we asked RVtravel.com readers what time they usually ate dinner. For most, it was between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. But which hour was the most popular, between 5 and 6 or 6 and 7? Here’s the answer and readers’ comments. Surprised?
Recipe of the Day
Wow, this dip is fabulous! We’ve tasted a lot of dips and this has quickly become a favorite. It’s the ultimate bean dip. The bean part is smooth, creamy, and filled with Mexican spices. Then it’s topped with thick layers of cheese. It’s ooey-gooey heaven. This will be great for any party. A real crowd-pleaser.
Psst: Just for the record, we don’t think any part of Texas is “trash!” We love you, Texans! (And we especially love your food! Mmm…)
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Robin is about 1-year-old. She stays home most of the time. Follows me around the house.” —Charles Powell
What has ten letters and starts with gas?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Thank coffee for the world’s first webcam. Researchers at Cambridge University set up a camera to view their coffee pot from a distance so they’d know if it was empty before walking all the way over. When the camera was hooked up to the internet, it made history. SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
Laugh of the Week
TODAY’S DEALS ON TOOLS AND HOME IMPROVEMENT at Amazon.
“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.
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.
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?
RVtravel.com All-Star Team
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, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, James Raia, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Johnny Robot. 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.
RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
Editorial (all but news): email@example.com
Editorial (news): firstname.lastname@example.org
Help desk: Contact us.
Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.
This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.