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July 23, 2022
Non-Members (advertising supported) edition
Should we sell our email list with your name on it?
By Emily Woodbury
f you only knew how many emails we receive in a day. Most are from readers—your questions, suggestions, request for information, news tips, and article ideas. We love hearing from you. But we’re also inundated with annoying emails like the one that follows. The emails include lots of spam, lots of “sponsored guest post” requests (ugh) and lots of “Put a link to my website on RVtravel.com and we’ll send you money” bribes.
If only we wanted to “sell out.” If only! Renting our email list, for example, would bring us thousands of dollars for about 20 minutes of work.
We could make so much easy money! We could publish “sponsored guest posts” left and right all over our website (like so many other RVing and other websites do). Hucksters from around the world want to pay us to post their self-serving, terribly written, usually spammy articles (many written by artificial intelligence like our Johnny Robot).
Should we be honored?
I suppose, in one way, we might be honored: All the attention means we have such an impressive audience (that’s you!) that people around the world realize peddling their schemes would be good for their business.
But we’re not honored. It’s annoying. Leave us and our real, talented writers alone! We’re just a small group of humans here doing the best that we can, trying to deliver quality information to you. And guess what? We still put educating and entertaining you ahead of grubbing for easy money.
An email we don’t like and refusing easy money!
Below is an email we received recently. We’ve removed some information about the company because it’s not important. It’s the message that matters. It’s like others we receive each day.
Here is today’s 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.)
Good Sam Club … Going, going, (almost) gone
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In early 2021 we wrote questioning the future of the Good Sam Club. At that time, Good Sam Enterprises basically suspended all membership social gatherings, including chapter meetings and larger rallies. What has happened since then? Let’s just say the club’s future is not looking so good. Continue reading.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “Today’s review is of something I never knew I wanted, the Skydancer motorhome by Skydancer. The big thing about this big thing is that it’s a motorhome that’s also a convertible.
“No, no. Not with slide rooms or things like that. A convertible meaning the entire roof over the cockpit can slide backward to give you open-air dining, seating and, yes, even driving. So it’s a big, convertible motorhome. Well, not that big.”
RV boo-boos: Look out! First step to a safe trip – take the RV steps in!
“Protect us,” said the old prayer, “from things that go bump in the night.” For RVers, things that can “go bump” can do so in broad daylight—and often do. Too often, RVers pull away in their rig and hear unwelcome noises. The TV antenna left up? Or a major insurance claim causer: Left the RV steps out. Learn from Paul and Cinnamon’s unfortunate little misstep.
Around the campfire: Who’s to blame for lack of quality RVs?
Terrible RV quality. This ongoing theme runs rampant throughout RV blogs, forums, social media threads, and (you guessed it) around the campfire. But just who is to blame for the lack of quality RVs? Read what RVers had to say in this discussion around the campfire, as recorded by Gail Marsh.
Self-driving lightweight travel trailer unveiled
A travel trailer that drives itself? Well, not down the highway (wouldn’t that make it a motorhome?), but it will maneuver itself into your campsite, your driveway for storage, or the last few feet of where it can be dropped on the tow vehicle’s hitch. The unique RV was announced today in Syracuse, Indiana, by Travel Lite RV (TLRV). Learn more.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- Maintaining your rig: Conduct an RV exterior evaluation
- No mess, no hassle RV sewer hose storage tips
- Don’t be a carbon monoxide victim
- BBQ grill mats make grilling easy and clean up a breeze
- When was the last time you inspected your slide out seals? Do it now!
The important life lessons that RVing has taught me
By Gail Marsh
Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in education for most of my life. Or perhaps it’s because I am getting older and more introspective as time goes on. Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking lately about all that I’ve learned while RVing. I’m not talking about RV organization, daily RV life, or RV maintenance. I have indeed learned all those things. But I’m talking about what RVing has taught me about myself. Continue reading. Does this sound familiar to you?
Prospecting for more than gold. Find diamonds, and more, on your RV travels
By Randall Brink
Gold is not the only valuable mineral on the earth. RV prospectors who find themselves traversing an area of the country barren of gold might well consider searching for other exciting and valuable mineral deposits, such as diamonds. All but a few U.S. states claim valuable minerals or gems beneath their land surfaces. Forty-five states have declared a state gemstone, rock, or mineral, and quite a few boast all three. Learn more.
Hot weather makes tempers rise: Battle the heat, not each other!
By Gail Marsh
It’s so hot! The extreme heat has caused our RV to shrink! Not really. It just seems smaller as my husband and I try to stay out of each other’s way. Yes, the hot weather can make your body feel uncomfortable. The heat can also cause tempers to flare, self-awareness to wane, and emotions to explode. Not that any of that’s happening. Not at all. Really. Get some ideas on how to adjust plans and deal with the heat here.
Where do you prefer to stay—in a scenic, primitive public campground or a nondescript but clean RV park with full hookups?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
Know Your RV: Why balance your trailer tires?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Got a fifth-wheel or travel trailer? Then your “towable” RV has tires on the ground. If you check your tire pressure regularly, and don’t overload your rig, you’re ahead of the game. But strangely enough, even among veteran towable owners, there is something about tires that is often neglected: balance. Few people would drive their car or truck away from the shop with new tires not balanced. But a lot of RVers don’t get their towable tires balanced. Learn why it’s important here.
Presidential history buffs, add these places in “flyover country” to your travel plans
By Gail Marsh
Here’s something you may not know: Many people in the Midwest actually like our region being known as “flyover country.” Why? Because it keeps our beautiful parks, regional attractions, and great RV campgrounds readily available for those of us who love to live here. Here in “flyover country” we are proud of the folks who called the Midwest “home” and then they each went on to become one of the most powerful and well-known people in the entire nation: the President of the United States. Read about several of those presidents and places to visit here.
The long, long RV trip, Week 7: Chicagoland RVing and re-evaluating this trip
By Cheri Sicard
Hello to everyone following the Long Long RV Trip journey and thanks for coming along with me. Today I want to talk about Chicagoland RVing and my experiences moochdocking in the Chicago burbs. … Read all about Cheri’s trip to Chicago, what to do and see there, and watch the NBC News story about her unique friendship with Craig, here.
Part 5: Forced air furnaces and why they’re so finicky
By Dave Solberg
I typically don’t get as many questions about furnace efficiency as other appliances, mostly because of how people are using their units and how often the furnace actually gets used. Most RVers store their rigs in the winter so the furnace only gets used slightly when the temperature dips in the mountains or during autumn, so it doesn’t get tested as much in extreme conditions. Learn how furnaces work and what the main “gremlin” is 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 Folding Camping Table?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (July 23, 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:
- There’s a crack in my RV’s shower floor. How do I fix it?
- Should we be concerned about full-body RV slides with appliances?
- Why did my brand-new LED lights stop working?
- My RV’s flooring is soft. Can I remove the top boards to replace?
- Why don’t the RV’s bath area lights and fan work?
Visit Dave’s forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
This is only intended for those wanting a REALLY good belly laugh. Trust us, when we used this, we’ve never seen publisher Chuck Woodbury laugh as hard as he did! We have videos…
NEW! Video of the day
In this new Monday-Saturday feature, Cheri Sicard shows you a video of the day. Sometimes the videos are educational, sometimes they’re funny, and sometimes they’ll just be downright OMG-inducing!
How van life living helped this solo RVer bank $150K
By Cheri Sicard
A lot of people ask, “What does van life cost?” But there’s another part of the equation: How much can living a van life save you over a bricks and sticks house or apartment?
Have you ever wondered if you would actually save money with van life living or full-time RVing? Outdoor adventure photographer Christian Schaffer ran the numbers and put that question to the test in the informative video below.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
CURT bike rack keeps eBikes in check
By Tony Barthel
A while back my wife and I got Lectric eBikes, which have been a lot of fun. In fact, we’ve been writing stories about doing bicycle tours of various places including Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Shipshewana, Indiana. Both of those are really great bicycling towns. The only thing we needed for our bikes? A new bike rack. Enter the CURT bike rack. What does Tony think about it? Find out here.
This electric trike built for two is so much fun for RVers!
By Nanci Dixon
An electric trike built for two whizzed by me and my husband. Wow! We had never seen anything like it before and we just had to stop the couple and ask about it. Check this out!
Always unplug your RV while working on wiring
with Mike Sokol
This was just posted on my RVelectricity Facebook group a few days ago. It’s an important reminder to unplug your RV from the pedestal outlet when working on any internal RV wiring. Never rely on simply turning off the circuit breaker on the pedestal while still having your shore power cord plugged in. … Read what could have happened to this RVer and how to prevent it from happening to you.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Up in Smoke: Hemp-powered batteries?
RV Tire Safety
Do you “read the label” on your tires as you do when grocery shopping?
with Roger Marble
A question was posed on what would be a good replacement for a Goodyear Endurance tire in trailer application. John said: “It is time to replace four tires on my Airstream. The current tires are GYE (Goodyear Endurance) ST225/75/R15 LR-E. My dealer says GYE in my size is unavailable from his distributors and is highly recommending Hercules….” Read the rest of the question and Roger’s advice.
Heat stroke in pets can cause death. Know the signs
with Karel Carnohan, DVM
Hot dogs … and cats! Heat stroke is a danger to your pet. Having recently moved to one of the hottest places on Earth (Palm Desert, CA), I am very much aware of the dangers of extreme heat for pets and their owners. It really doesn’t even need to be extreme heat to put your pet at risk. A dog in a car for 10 minutes in 75-degree weather is exposed to temperatures exceeding 120! A dog on a strenuous walk in the sun on a mild day can also fall prey to heat exhaustion. Here are some tips to avoid expensive trips to the vet and even the death of your pet.
Have a question about traveling with your pet? Ask Dr. Karel on her Ask the Pet Vet Forum.
RV Short Stop
Free Night Sky programs at Carlsbad Caverns NP
with Julianne G. Crane
Late May through mid-October, Carlsbad Caverns National Park hosts very special free family Night Sky Programs. Some of these include the Bat Flight Program, where every summer evening park rangers present compelling programs about the Brazilian free-tailed bats that live in the caverns between spring and autumn. Also, they have programs for Star Viewing and Night Hikes. Learn all about those fun family programs here.
RV Fire Safety
How many fire extinguishers for your RV?
While the National Fire Protection Association does not require that you carry more than one fire extinguisher, don’t take chances. One fire extinguisher is simply not enough. Fire and Life Safety instructor, Mac McCoy, recommends having at least two extinguishers inside of your coach—one near the door and one in the bedroom—and an additional one in an unlocked outside compartment or in your towed vehicle. Make sure that everyone traveling with you is trained to use the extinguishers. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Our non-human staff writer answers your questions. “Johnny’s not always right, but he works cheap!”
Today, Johnny tackles these questions:
- 65-year-old man’s mother won’t let him buy RV
- Talking dog says “Fire” loudly. Can owner take him to movie theater?
- Husband only eats tuna fish sandwiches. What can wife do?
Recipe of the Day
The instructions and cooking time for this salmon are perfect. The final result is tender and juicy. We loved the flavor grilling adds to the salmon, but this could easily be baked in the oven. On top is a pesto that’s sweet and tangy. We opted to use pine nuts for the pesto but walnuts would be great too. You can use this pesto with any fish, chicken, or meat.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“When Tally the Beagle was a pup she loved to nap in this neck pillow. She is now five years old.” —Jim Larocca
I am black when you buy me, and red when you use me. When I turn white it’s time to throw me away. What am I?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
When you think of the color of the universe, you probably think of a very dark blue or even black. But you’re wrong! The average color of the universe is a color called “Cosmic Latte.” Scientists at Johns Hopkins University used data from an Australian observatory to classify the light emitting from more than 200,000 galaxies. While the colors varied from galaxy to galaxy, the average color of all of them was a creamy, white color: “Cosmic Latte.” Oh, and if you ever want to use that color to code, it’s #FFF8E7. Now you know!
Laugh of the Week
Current smoke and fire report for where you live or where you are traveling.
“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, 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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