Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1065

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Page Contents

August 13, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition

What decades of RVing have taught me

by Chuck Woodbury
This originally appeared in the June 2022 edition of RV Business Magazine


have traveled with an RV for about 40 years. If you count my travels as a wee lad in my family’s 15-foot Field and Stream trailer, then I have technically been RVing for 60 years. As my late-friend Al Kepler might have said, “Dat dere is a long time!”

I bought my first motorhome, a used 18-foot Class C, when I was 33. I can describe it with a four letter word: JUNK! I was so in love with the idea of traveling in a small wheeled home as a “roving reporter” that I barely inspected it before slapping down $5,500. It looked great if you didn’t notice the stains on the ceiling.

My first motorhome

“Ah, now I know,” I mumbled at the first rainstorm when a leak in the roof at 3 a.m. delivered an RV version of water torture onto me as I slept on my overhead bunk. And how could I have known the Dodge 360 engine would break down once every three trips, usually in the middle of nowhere? The nice man I bought the RV from was the automotive instructor at a local community college. Surely he would have kept the RV well maintained, right? Wrong!

What that RV taught me

That motorhome, Rest In Peace, taught me what it’s like to be a new, naive buyer in love with the idea of RVing. It’s the dream and the “bling” that counts, I learned later. And if there is no bling, as was my case, then you invent the bling. “Oh, I can go anywhere I want and have great adventures,” I imagined. Being a single male, I would think, “One day I will camp next to a beautiful single woman and we will fall in love” (extreme fantasy bling). Alas, most of my fellow campers then were twice my age with RV bumper stickers that read “Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Playhouse” or “Don’t Tailgate or I’ll Flush.”

Read More

COMING LATER THIS FALL: A new weekly newsletter: RV Tech Talk. The nation’s leading experts on RV repair and maintenance will discuss, both in writing and in live online discussions, what you need to know to keep your RV in top condition, and to troubleshoot problems. Edited by Dave Solberg. Sign up.

Where are our website readers visiting from?

Here’s a snapshot of where the last 500 visitors to RVtravel.com were visiting us from as of 7 p.m., Eastern Time, yesterday evening. Dots appear only where a sizable number of readers are located at that moment.

The end of Walmart “camping”?

In tomorrow’s newsletter we’ll tell you about a lawsuit recently filed against Walmart that could mark the end of the retailer’s generous policy of allowing RVers to stay overnight for free in its store parking lots. And not only might Walmart prohibit such stays, but other RV-friendly businesses as well — Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel stores, Sam’s Club, and others.

Photo contest

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 receives 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

 Featured article 

You gave us the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly’ on road service plans

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Last Saturday we set off on what’s turned out to be a rather ambitious project. We asked about your experiences with emergency road service plans. “Give us the good, the bad, and the ugly.” On top of it, we wanted the statistics so we could provide you and others with some solid numbers to help make a choice. Did we say, “rather ambitious project”? Hoo, boy! The responses have been pouring in like a monsoon rain on the Quartzsite desert. … We’re still crunching the numbers. And as your experiences flow in, they’ve raised a few questions that need answering. Here’s just a sampling of your comments.

Today’s RV review…

2023 Palomino Puma 32BH2B—Big and beautiful

Tony writes, “The combination of the very open-feeling interior and materials that felt rather fancy made this really feel like a nice place to spend time. The two completely separate bedrooms and bathrooms make this a very flexible floor plan, as well.”

Continue reading

Click here for more reviews.

Help from a popular auto parts store gone wrong—battery bust!

By Dave Solberg
As most of you know, I post an answer to a question from a reader Monday-Friday in the RV Daily Tips newsletter. This time, though, things looked different. Although this is technically an answer to a reader’s question, it did not come in the traditional method via email, it came personally in my backyard. This is nuts! What are the odds of this person ending up, unknowingly, stranded in RV tech expert Dave’s backyard?!

RV Checklists: Campground setup

Gail Marsh has put together this very thorough checklist for setting up in the campground. It’s also available in pdf format so you can download it and use it each time you get to a new campsite. Get it here.

Mice invading your RV? Lion poop to the rescue

Through the years, we’ve written about a dozen ways to keep mice, squirrels and other rodents out of your RV. Some probably work, some probably don’t. Nobody seems to agree on the absolute best way. Well, could this be it? There’s one way to keep these pests (and even bigger ones like possums and bears) away from your RV according to reader Jeff Schwartz, who outlined his method in a comment to our YouTube video “How to keep mice out of your RV.” Continue reading to see what this has to do with lions. Really.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters

Can you afford to snowbird?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Are you an RVer tired of the cold winter weather and ready to become a snowbird? Wondering how you can afford to snowbird? Here are a few things to help you figure out whether or not you can fit the snowbird lifestyle into your financial limits. Read more.

The stupidest tourist trick we have ever seen

This is, hands down, the stupidest tourist trick we have ever seen. It happened at Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. The tourist came within inches of falling to his death in what is perhaps the stupidest tourist trick so far in 2022. The video is only about 10 seconds long. Watch it and thank your lucky stars you were born with a fully functioning brain.

Spill the beans: Do you love your RV?

By Gail Marsh
I may have hurt some feelings in a recent article I wrote. In it, I referred to an RV as “basically a tin can or cardboard box.” I was trying to emphasize the difficulty many RVers have in keeping their RVs cool in the relentless summer heat. My words hit a nerve and I certainly didn’t mean to disparage any RV in particular or in general. So many people today complain about their RVs: poor construction, lack of attention to detail, constant repairs, etc. Perhaps it’s time to give folks who really love their RVs a voice. I’ll go first… (Then it’s your turn.)

Dunedocking—RVing in sand!

By Dave Helgeson
Sand dunes exist throughout the Western states and offer great camping opportunities for boondocking, er, dunedocking. While most of us associate sand dunes with the ocean, there are extensive inland sand dunes located throughout the West. … The majority of these dunes permit free camping and the use of off-road vehicles. Learn more.

Reader Poll

How many RVs have you owned in your lifetime?

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

We asked: How old were you when you met your current spouse/partner? What do you think? Roughly how many them met before they were 20 years old? Was it a quarter of them, a third of them, or less than a tenth of them? Find out.

Roadside Geology: The Missoula Floods and the wonders of North Idaho

By Randall Brink
An RVer traveling on US-95 in Northern Idaho from the town of Athol to Sandpoint, or eastbound on State Highway 200 near Clark Fork, Idaho, will see sweeping and dramatic evidence of a geological event dating from the Miocene Epoch of geologic time: The Missoula Floods. Continue reading about the fascinating history of this region.

The long, long RV trip, Week 10: Circus World, Wisconsin Dells and gearing up to go again!

By Cheri Sicard
This week’s stops: Wisconsin Dells, Baraboo, WI, Chicago Burbs
Welcome back to the continuing journey of my long, long RV trip. … My friend Craig suggested we take a day trip about three hours away to Wisconsin to visit Circus World Museum and the Wisconsin Dells. It sounded good to me. Especially as I have some old circus friends who live in Baraboo who I had not seen in decades. Read much more, including about her 91-year-old retired circus friend she caught up with and who came out of retirement last year to do an unbelievable fiery motorcycle stunt with her grandson Hunter on America’s Got Talent.

Is a 12-volt refrigerator right for you?

“Boondocking with Confidence” is boldly proclaimed by an advertisement in a popular RV trade magazine for a 12-volt compressor refrigerator, followed by the tagline, “Keep more food and drinks colder for longer, even off grid”. The ad fails to mention what it is comparing its product against when it states, “colder for longer”. … Learn all about 12-volt fridges from Dave Helgeson here.

Are we worth more than "Free"?
At RVtravel.com, we publish 600+ newsletters a year. We strive to be the best source of honest information about RVing anywhere. Are we worth more than "free" to you? If so, would you please consider a voluntary subscription? Every dollar helps and goes straight into our editorial budget. We don't use free canned material, content creators (who write basically to fill space), or influencers. Nor do we publish articles in exchange for money (common today!). The almighty dollar is nice, but editorial integrity is far, far more important to us (we are so old fashioned!) Please help us be all we can be...for you.


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 Digital Solar NOAA Radio?

Special features include: AM FM Radio, Emergency Phone Charger, Led flashlight,reading lamp, clock, NOAA Weather Alert Radio, Shortwave Radio.

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 13, 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.

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.

Visit Dave’s forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.

RV Gadgets and Gizmos

No gadget reviews today, but make sure you read yesterday’s brand-new edition of Tony’s Great RV Accessories newsletter. There are gadgets galore inside! Click here to read.

These always make you smile when you’re driving down the road, don’t they? Well, now you can have one of your own! Just what you’ve always wanted!


with Mike Sokol

How many lithium batteries are needed to run two CPAP machines?

Dear Mike,
Yesterday I ordered a new Lance 1985 trailer with the 190-watt solar panel on the roof and 1500-watt inverter. I plan to install lithium batteries so my wife and I can use our CPAP devices all night if we are boondocking for a few days. If we are staying in an RV park hooked up to 30-amp service, will the manufacturer’s supplied onboard converter charge the lithium batteries to 14.4 volts or just 13.6 volts? Does it matter, since the solar panel will top them off during the day? Also, can you recommend a preferred lithium battery? Thank you in advance. —Johnny [Editor: No relation to our “writer” Johnny Robot.]

Read Mike’s response

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Important! Don’t take shelter under a tree during a storm.

Visit Mike’s RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.

Video of the day

Understanding RV screws, RV screwdrivers, and specialty bits

By Cheri Sicard
If you have ever gone to your RV toolbox in search of screws for a repair or found a repair needed a special screwdriver or driver bit that you didn’t have, you need to watch the video below. I know I have been there many times and I am not alone among RV owners.

RV expert Mark Polk of RV Education 101 does a terrific job of breaking down some of the most common replaceable hardware RV owners should keep on hand along with the tools needed to use them.

Click here to watch 

RV Tire Safety

Uneven wear on trailer tires may not be due to defect

With Roger Marble
If you have one shoulder of a trailer tire showing more wear than the other, as seen here, you probably have camber wear. [From bridgestonetire.com: Camber: This is the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the vehicle.] Unlike the front end of your car or truck, few RV trailers have alignment that can be adjusted with hand tools. BUT the first thing you need to do is confirm you are out of alignment.

Read More

Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.

Operating an RV Park

The weather is changing; and we discovered a leak in our RV!

By Machelle James
Well, AJ and I are pleased to say that our campground has definitely been noticed in the RV world. We are full almost every weekend and we have calls daily for those last-minute drive-ins. You know exactly what I mean, those nights that you’re exhausted from driving and you need to pull over NOW! We are that place to rest your head for the night and let you go on your way the next day.

Read More

sewer sealStinky sewer dump? This will do the trick!
If a sewer hose doesn’t fit tightly, sewer gases will escape and make the odor when dumping almost unbearable. It’s embarrassing and disgusting! This sewer adapter hose seal plugs the hole. No more stink! Read more about it here or order one here.

Johnny Robot

Our non-human staff writer answers your questions. “Johnny’s not always right, but he works cheap!”

Johnny takes a break this week from answering questions and instead writes about how easy it is for an algorithm like him to write articles. (Johnny is not a real person, in case you didn’t know.) He explains that people are not even necessary to write articles about RVing, whether for websites, blogs or even newsletters about RVing.

Read Johnny’s essay here

Recipe of the Day

Grilled Fish Tacos With Chipotle Crema
by Lauren Perkins-Boyd from Portland, OR

A delicious recipe if you’ve been having a craving for fish tacos and want to make them at home. The marinade for the fish is seasoned perfectly and the fish soaks up all the flavor. Mahi Mahi is in the ingredients, but any mild white flaky fish will work. We love the fresh chipotle crema. It’s tangy and has a little kick that’s the perfect complement to the fish. This is a fabulous twist to taco night.

Click here for the recipe

Readers’ Pet of the Day

“Ringo is new to the RV life. He is adjusting to travel days. His favorite part is our final destination. He loved looking out onto the Mighty Mississippi.” —Yvonne Mills

Brain Teaser

Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday?

(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)

Do away with mosquito bites!
What if we told you we had a solution for all those mosquito bites and bee stings? We do! This weatherproof LED lantern (and flashlight) lures mosquitoes and other flying bugs and zaps them as soon as they fly up and touch it, providing a 16×16-foot mosquito-free zone. Neat, huh? Never swat away a bug again! It’s waterproof, non-toxic, and harmless to humans. Learn more or order.


According to Friends of the Earth, a typical 3,000-person cruise ship produces the equivalent of ten backyard swimming pools of sewage every week. The harmful waste can then be carelessly dumped into the ocean with little treatment, contributing to the destruction of native habitats.

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.

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.

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.

Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?

Read it here | Back issues

Meet Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of RVtravel.com friend R.L. Crabb.

RVtravel.com 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, Gail Marsh. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Solberg, Mike Gast, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, 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.

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)
: editor@rvtravel.com
Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
: Advertising@rvtravel.com
Help desk:
Contact us.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


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Leonard Rempel (@guest_197657)
1 year ago

I’m sure you realize that sensationalizing {bleeped} videos only continues to enable those same idiots.
I am suspecting that you do it for eyeball clicks, but maybe you and your team should rethink the practice. IMHO.

Chuck Woodbury
1 year ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

Leonard, our readers will not be motivated to try that stupid man’s trick after watching the video.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

And if they’re anything like me, they wouldn’t even be physically able to climb over, let alone “fly” over like this guy. 😆 –Diane

Leonard Rempel (@guest_197770)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, certainly not, however you are enabling other idiots to make similar videos as they can now see how many more people watch them, through websites such as your excellent RV newsletter. More idiots making more videos that are “re-linked” helping them to earn money.
I respect and enjoy your journalism, but showing these video’s is not journalism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Leonard Rempel
Jerry Attrix (@guest_198099)
1 year ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

Leonard: Don’t click the link then and you won’t be helping them earn money. Plus, if idiots like the one in the video dies, one less {bleeped}…thinning of the shallow gene pool!!!

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