Thursday, August 11, 2022


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1059

rv travel logoWelcome to, the most-read consumer website about RVing in North America. At, you will learn about RV camping, RV travel, RV news and much more. Be sure to check out all our other RV-related newsletters.

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Page Contents

July 2, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition

 Cover story 

By Chuck Woodbury

We’re ruining our special places!

Many years ago, when I was beginning my writing career, I wrote occasional freelance articles about places to visit in Northern California for my then-local newspaper The Sacramento Bee. Its circulation was about 250,000.

I recall worrying that writing about little-known places to such a big audience would cause them to be overrun and spoiled. My travel writer friends and I talked about this. It concerned us all. Today, millions of regular folks have their own audiences because of social media. Few of them, I believe, understand the consequences of how sharing their “finds” (nearly all well-intended) is spoiling our collective travel experiences.

For example, decades ago I stumbled upon a beautiful but hidden waterfall in the Sierra mountains along a washboard dirt road that was barely traveled. The waterfall, still unnamed today, was as magnificent as dozens of others I have seen since, most of those alongside state and federal highways with a pullout or parking area and a manicured trail leading to the special place.

The unnamed waterfall as seen today on Google Maps. The dirt road where I stopped is in the top right of the photo.

I came upon my secret waterfall when working my college summers for the U.S. Forest Service. I found it by accident when I pulled over to eat my sack lunch and heard the roar of the falls. It became one of my favorite places to take a lunch break.

Today, someone who is active on social media might stumble upon those falls just as I did. And what would he or she do? Post a photo of it to Facebook, Instagram, etc., for all their friends to see, who would then share it with their friends. The once little-known place could become a circus, overrun by visitors.

Read More

IN TOMORROW’S ISSUE: How the word “camping” is now being used as a code word on the national debate over abortion.

Photo contest, Week 1

It’s here! The very first edition of our twice-a-week photo contest. Please vote for your favorite. Once you’ve voted, please submit your own photo for consideration. Winner’s receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

(And remember, this contest appears every Saturday and Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back for five more photos from our readers this coming Wednesday! Sign up for our RV Daily Tips newsletter if you’re not already getting it. If you’re not sure if you’re on the list, sign up again. You will still only get one issue, not two.)

Click here to vote

Today’s RV review…

Riverside RV Retro 135, a pickup camper on wheels

Tony writes, “I really like this trailer in theory, but there are enough things I don’t like that I can’t really recommend it. That’s unfortunate, because Riverside mostly does a good job. But this RV is like a late-night project under deadline where it seemed that most of the boxes were checked but they didn’t have anyone to oversee the decisions being made.”

Read More

Click here for more reviews.

Spend a night in Dolly Parton’s RV!

Are you a Dolly Parton fan? Then do we have good news for you — the opportunity to spend the night in one of her most cherished places — her custom-designed, pink-festooned, 45-foot Prevost tour bus she used from 2008 until recently. Earn bragging rights telling your friends “I spent a night in Dolly Parton’s bed!” Hey, let them think what they want about that! Warning: Staying here does not come cheap! Read more.

Our gas was stolen! Tips for protecting against fuel theft

By Gail Marsh
This was a first for us: The first time someone stole fuel from our truck. We’d taken our fifth wheel to an acreage in the country approximately three hours away from our stix-n-brix home. In exchange for full hookups and fresh country air, we were helping friends build their new house. The beautiful Ozark Mountains provided a wonderful backdrop to their home site and things were progressing at a steady pace on the build. The furthest thing from our minds in this peaceful setting was protecting ourselves against fuel theft. Continue reading about what happened and some excellent tips to prevent this from happening to you.

New roadside super fuel stops mean cheap(er) gas and a good rest for RVers

Make room at the table for the new kid. Wally’s is in town! This new roadside super fuel stop is up and running in Fenton, Missouri. Billing itself as the “Home of the Great American Road Trip,” Wally’s really lives up to its name. Wally’s offers more than 70 fuel pumps, each one featuring both gasoline and diesel. Read more about Wally’s and some locations around the country for special fuel prices this Fourth of July weekend.

RVers toss in keys! Costs up, campsites down — perfect storm’s longtime friend and occasional contributor Mike Sherman emailed this message to his friends, family and to us at We’re passing it along because we know others are doing the same, already have, or will be doing the same thing in the days and months ahead. Read what Mike wrote.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters

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Around the Campfire: To grease or not to grease a trailer’s hitch ball?

By Gail Marsh
To grease or not to grease a trailer’s hitch ball? That was the question around the campfire a few nights ago. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about greasing the trailer’s hitch ball, and were eager to share in the discussion. Read more.

Bicycle modification helps mobility-challenged couples

A reader sent us this photo. How wonderful! This would a great way for two people of widely different physical abilities to explore the outdoors. Check this out!

Visit Wedding Row in Las Vegas!

In 2021, on average about 230 couples got married every day in Las Vegas, the “Marriage Capital of the World.” The town’s many chapels are now officially honored with banners flying on light poles proclaiming “Wedding Row.” Vegas visitors will get a kick just driving by these shrines to marriage, maybe evening stopping to renew their vows. Read all about it.

Reader Poll

Have you canceled any camping reservations due to high fuel prices?

Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.

Tell us here

A recent poll you might find of interest: Do you have an extended warranty on your RV?


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.

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win a set of Happy Camper Wine Glasses?

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 2, 2022) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via 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!

Ask Dave

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.

This past week’s questions that Dave answered:

Click here to see more questions for Dave.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

The Southwire Elite Power Station provides impressive amount of power to RVers

By Nanci Dixon
The Southwire Elite Portable Power Station is perfect for RVers! It can be a game-changer, particularly for boondockers and tenters, and for use as backup power. When I read that folks at TechnoRV had used one of the Southwire power stations to run their electric blanket while dry camping, I was intrigued and contacted them. TechnoRV graciously sent me the Southwire Elite 1100 Series™ Portable Power Station to test. The Elite 1100 power station’s top output is a hefty 1,000 watts! Learn more.

Camco leveling wedges don’t always ‘level up’ to other products

By Tony Barthel
One of the easiest things there is to do in the RV world is to level a travel trailer. Essentially, you only have to worry about side-to-side leveling and then use the power tongue jack to level the thing front to back. … Read Tony’s review of the Camco leveling wedges he bought for his new trailer and what he thinks of them. Would he recommend them to others to buy? Find out here.

Well… wow… this is surely RV-sized! Actually, it’s more like teardrop-sized! We didn’t know they made them this small, but boy, this would come in handy and wouldn’t take up any space!

Vintage RVs

Original ‘holy grail’ instruction manual for Chris-Craft kit trailers discovered

By Paul Lacitinola
David Irvine of Shelbyville, MI, owns a wooden boat built by a Chris-Craft employee in 1957. David also owns a 1954 Chris-Craft trailer. He is originally from Algonac, Michigan, home of Chris-Craft. The trailers were offered as kits in 1954, but it is unknown how many were sold or built. For anyone that has ever built a trailer, you know it is a lot of work. Even the best-made plans would likely have had some challenges and require a fair skill set to see them through from start to finish. Continue reading.


with Mike Sokol

Don’t use a Non-Contact Voltage Tester on a DC fuse

Last week there was a reader on my RVelectricity Facebook Group who was having all sorts of electrical problems with his RV, including air conditioners tripping the circuit breaker on the pedestal, 3-way refrigerator not running, and a bunch of inside electrical outlets that didn’t have power. We eventually found that the 50-amp circuit breaker in the campground pedestal was arcing internally, causing it to overheat. But as I was assisting with troubleshooting, I found that the reader was using a few test tools incorrectly, causing much confusion and adding days to sorting out the reason for the failure.

Read how to use testers safely

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Ketchup update: Popsicles?

RV Tire Safety

Why is my TPMS giving different readings than my hand gauge?

Tire expert Roger Marble received this question recently: “The readings between my TPMS and my quality tire gauge are always different. On cold days there is even more of a difference. Which one do I rely on?”

Read Roger’s explanation

Johnny Robot

Our non-human staff writer answers your questions

Johnny answers these questions:
• What do you think about my friend touring RV parks with a talking duck?
• Will buying an RV under a full moon bring good luck?
• Does drinking beer make you taller?

Click here

And, if you can’t get enough of Johnny Robot…

read an actual article “he” wrote for us in less than a minute titled “What’s best for me, a travel trailer or a motorhome?” with comments by our publisher Chuck Woodbury about some of the nonsense “he” spewed (which, sadly, is being passed off as legitimate on other RV websites, and thus our point for publishing this).

Recipe of the Day

You Saucey Little Dog Sauce (Hot Dog Sauce)
by Dee Tourville from FC, FL

What an easy to make, flavorful hot dog sauce. The balance of flavors is spot on and similar to a Tex-Mex chili. It’s savory with a kick. We did use the 7 tsp. of chili powder and it was perfect for our palate. If you don’t like things hot, just cut back on the chili powder. The chili and cumin mingle together perfectly. Once simmered, the meat has a smooth texture. A delicious topping for your hot dog.

Click here for the recipe

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Baxter, our ‘Big Boy,’ was the love of our life. We bought an RV (our first) just so we could take him everywhere with us. Spoiled is an understatement. He’s been gone four years and we still talk about him often. Still heartbreaking. Oh, but what joy he brought to our life!” —Linda Dunlap [Editor’s note: They have a way of doing that!]

NEW: Pet Owner Poll

Have you ever had to pay extra for a pet at an RV park?
Respond here


Brain Teaser

Only one letter in the alphabet is not in any U.S. state’s name, what letter 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.)


Autoinsurance EZ has found that fires in electric vehicles caused by crashes are rare, with about 25 fires per 100,000 cars sold. For reference, they calculated 1,529.9 fires involving cars with internal combustion engines per 100,000 sold. Hybrids between the two types are extremely flammable, though: 3,474.5 fires per 100,000 sold.

Laugh of the Week


Current Wildfire Report. (Includes map and details of fires!)

Current smoke and fire report for where you live or where you are traveling.

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

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.

RV Clubs
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.

RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from 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.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues All-Star Team

rv travel logoPublisher: 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 or this newsletter. 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 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.

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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.

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1 month ago

Chuck Woodbury waterfall. Interesting. You found it you can name it. As for little known off the beaten trials? There are a few in Acadia Natl. park. Awesome place. Wish they would make people use the bus system more. Tourists really over run this place.

Brian Burry
1 month ago

Baxter was surely a loving joy! The unconditional love of a great dog, makes it so difficult when they’re gone, and those who do not experience that joy and love, miss so much in their lives. We lost our sweet dog Sadie, of 13 years, in September last year. Her loss, was very sudden, and quite honestly very hard to take. We actually cried about losing her, for a few days. Even though she was such a great love, our daughter-in-law said – you still have room in your heart to love another dog. So in November, we got our puppy VADA, a white and orange Brittnay. She has become a joy as well, learning our family and fitting in with her goofiness, sweetness and love. Life is better with the love of a dog!!!

1 month ago

I grease the ball. Not so much for the ball’s sake but for the trailer hitch – I have seen the tops almost worn thru on non-greased balls.
Also a hint, what do you see on the 18 wheeler’s 5th wheel plate ? Lots of grease.

1 month ago

I’ve always wondered how many of those funny signs are just photoshopped.

Robert Nelson
1 month ago

As far as leveling blocks I’m old school. I took scrap 2×8 and stacked an 18 inch on top of a 36 inch screwed them together with a stop block at the end . Works flawlessly.