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 18, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Drought, wildfires… Will Californians head off to greener pastures?
By Chuck Woodbury
wo weeks ago I spent a couple of hours in Paradise, California, where in November 2018 most of the Northern California town was destroyed by the 154,000-acre Camp Fire. It was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history, killing 85 people and destroying nearly 20,000 structures, mostly homes in the picturesque Sierra foothill community.
On the same morning, I explored nearby Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville. Shasta is the third largest lake in California and a major source of water for people and agriculture. Lake Oroville, besides its major role in water storage and control, is a major generator of electricity. At full capacity, it can power 800,000 homes. For a time late last year, the lake was so low its power plant was shut down.
I visited marinas at both lakes. In most cases, I ended up driving on temporary dirt roads more than 100 feet below the high water line (I believe at Shasta it was 120 feet). At Lake Shasta, one RV park, once at the lakeshore, was at least a mile drive away from the water. It’s scary to think of what’s ahead if the drought continues, which is likely.
I was on my way by car to a family reunion farther south, and had only half a day to visit these three places. But it was enough to get a sense of what was going on.
A week later I reached my destination in California’s Central Valley, south of Fresno, where evidence of the drought and fire damage was also apparent — dying orchards here and there (but not as many as I would have thought), and fallow ground where annual crops might be grown. In the Sierra Nevada between Shaver and Huntington lakes, the huge 379,000-acre Creek Fire of 2020 wiped out much of the forest. I spent several summer vacations at Huntington Lake as a child. Seeing the now-devastated forest was heartbreaking.
In Tulare County, where I stayed, many homes were without water, their wells run dry, probably permanently unless their owners cough up $10,000, $20,000 or more to have them drilled deeper. Few can afford that.
MY MAIN INTEREST, though, was Paradise, and how it is faring more than two years after almost all the town went up in flames. I also wondered if fires and drought will drive Californian’s out of their state!
Your input on RV quality wanted for upcoming panel discussion
At RVtravel.com we will soon be launching a “live to tape” event that will feature leading experts within the RV industry, including RVIA certified technicians, technicians from RV parts suppliers, and even RV owners. We would like to invite you to join us in the discussion with your questions and comments prior to the event on the specific topic. Our first topic will focus on RV quality and, more specifically, why we see so many repairs and adjustments needed during the first few months of ownership.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “…this layout is very practical and could be a great road trip vehicle. With a decent number of belted positions plus full accessibility all the time and a size that’s not too big, Coachmen’s got a winner here. Yeah, yeah, it does feel a bit ‘rental fleet-y’ overall, but it’s still a good package.”
How to choose the right RV storage facility
By Gail Marsh
Soon my husband and I may need to choose a new place to store our RV. The company that currently provides space for our rig has just announced that it’s raising monthly fees. I suppose it’s because demand is up. Way up! We should have seen this coming. With more and more RVs purchased in recent years, more and more folks need a place to keep their rig when they’re not traveling. It’s the “supply and demand principle” in action. Here are some tips to choose the right RV storage facility.
RV boo-boos: Day ruiner—Things you don’t want to happen to you
There’s a saying among pilots: “Gravity can ruin your whole day.” Well, you don’t have to have wings on your rig to know there are just some things that rack up as a day ruiner. Here are two for the record books.
Around the Campfire: A debate on famous Yellowstone peak being renamed
The National Park Service recently announced that Yellowstone’s Mount Doane has been renamed. From now on, this Wyoming peak will be known as First Peoples Mountain. This renaming was the topic of a recent campfire conversation. As you might imagine, the discussion was lengthy and lively. Continue reading this thought-provoking article.
Tips from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- Paperwork organization: Keep your owner’s manuals, receipts, warranties in check
- The best ways to make use of a toy hauler’s ‘garage’ space
- Tips for downsizing your possessions for full-time RVing
- Your RV’s hidden dirtiest places and how to clean them
- How to carry extra propane safely
Here’s why St. Louis, Missouri, is the perfect RV family vacation
By Gail Marsh
I’m not a travel agent. I just recognize a good (make that great) thing when I see it. And St. Louis is great! It’s especially great this summer because, with rising fuel prices, we’ve decided to vacation closer to home. We’ll not only save on fuel prices by staying closer, but there’s so much to see and do in this wonderful city on the Mississippi River. Continue reading.
The long, long RV trip, Week 3: RVing during Colorado’s surprise snow, and a castle!
By Cheri Sicard
When we left off last week I was waiting in Albuquerque for a new trailer tire, which arrived on schedule the next day. Only to discover a split in another tire. I suspect I was sold old tires when I replaced mine last year after buying this trailer. Live and learn. It took all day, but the second new tire finally arrived late in the afternoon and by early evening I departed Albuquerque. The wildfires in New Mexico were still raging, so I decided to catch up with my New Mexico friends on another trip and headed straight toward Colorado. The drive was beautiful but ominous. Continue reading.
NEW! RV “Gremlins”
“But it worked yesterday!” Part 1: Lead-acid batteries
In this new weekly column, Dave Solberg asks, “How many times have you had something in your RV not work out on the road only to take it to the dealership or service center and pay them to tell you it’s working fine?! It happens all the time. I call it the RV ‘Gremlins’ of the industry!”
Every Saturday in the weeks ahead, Dave will take a look at common RV “gremlins.” This week, he begins with gremlins in lead-acid batteries.
How likely is it that you will buy an electric car/truck in the next year?
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.
NEW! Know Your RV
One simple trick for a happy generator
With Russ and Tiña De Maris
Are you new to the RV lifestyle? Then this column is for you! Every week we’ll walk you through the basics of recreational vehicles. We’ll help you get more assured of your rig, and make your travels even better. Today, let’s talk about a simple trick that can make for a happy generator. (And, hey. You veteran RVers may learn something too!)
Win a George Foreman Grill!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (June 18, 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:
- Is it true that dish detergent is bad for RV sidewalls?
- Why is the carpet in my RV’s step well getting wet?
- Where can I find replacement dump valves for my ’87 Itasca?
- How do I disinfect and sanitize my RV’s inline water filter?
- Weird: Only RV freezer works on LP gas, not refrigerator itself.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
Oh, come on! Give the man what he really wants. Trust us, he really, really wants this!
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
TST tire pressure monitor. Yep, worth it
By Tony Barthel
Today’s RV gadget review is of the TST tire pressure monitor that came with my new Rockwood Mini Lite 2205S. How is this relevant to you? Stick with me, fellow camper. I have been well aware of tire pressure monitoring systems for years, of course. … But I also thought that there was no reason to really want this gadget only because I’m pretty good about checking the air pressure in my tires before I head out. … So why do I need this kind of gadget? I was surprised by the number of reasons.
with Mike Sokol
50-amp vs. 30-amp twist-lock comparison
I have been getting questions about my article from 2018 on why you can’t use an adapter on a 240-volt welding outlet to power an RV. Here’s one question that was posed:
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: That ’70s Hot Dog Show and portable solar power stations
RV Tire Safety
Why aren’t there more tire recalls?
By Roger Marble
I have seen this question on an RV forum: “Why aren’t there more tire recalls?” It was asked by someone complaining that there were no recalls of what he considered “crappy” RV tires. Other posts in the thread went on to say that complaints to the BBB or the tire importer won’t accomplish much. I posted a reply pointing out that expecting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that is part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), to recall tires when there had not been sufficient, usable complaints filed was simply unrealistic.
Operating an RV Park
We passed the health inspection, and more updates
Read Machelle James’ report on the very thorough health inspection of their RV park, and what the inspector had to say about the park after the inspection. Wow! And what a variety of guests they’ve had.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Andy Zipser’s new book, “Turning Dirt” will be published next Thursday. This should be essential reading for anyone who wishes to buy and/or operate a campground or RV park. Andy takes you step-by-step through the buying process for choosing the right park, to making an offer, to operating the park once you get it. Pre-order now.
Recipe of the Day
Moist and delicious. With this recipe you can get your BBQ chicken fix without having to fire up the grill. It’s extremely easy to make. A great way to serve BBQ chicken at a cookout that can be made ahead of time. If you have leftovers (or just want a different option), shred the chicken and serve on Hawaiian rolls. Yum!
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Let the sun do your cooking with a solar oven.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Abbie is the best traveling companion. She always makes herself very comfortable in the truck’s back seat, only rising when curious about why we stopped. We’ve taken her all over the country from Michigan to Arizona to Wyoming in our Imagine Camper, which she is equally as comfortable in. She is the epitome of a ‘good girl.'” —Dana EulertSLEEPING WITH PETS. How many RVtravel.com readers with pets sleep with them? Would you guess more than half or less than half? Find out here. We bet you will be surprised!
(You’ll laugh if you read this one out loud!)
If a hen and a half lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs will half a dozen hens lay in half a dozen days?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
For the most part, the color of a chicken’s earlobe determines the color of the egg it lays. A red earlobed chicken lays brown eggs and a white ear lobed chicken lays white eggs. Eggs are laid at 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
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?
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.