Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Travel Newsletter Issue 1066

rv travel logoWelcome 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.

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Page Contents

August 20, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition

 Cover story 

The most ridiculous campsite in America

By Chuck Woodbury 

This campsite takes the cake. And it takes the pie and the ice cream and the crème brûlée. Nothing comes close to this in degree of ridiculousness, at least in the Wonderful World of Camping. The campsite you see below, as you may have already surmised, is not outdoors, but indoors. It’s inside a hotel room at Lake Tahoe.

A ridiculous campsite? More like a hotel room with a tent!So, no need to search for a nearby campsite in the beautiful Sierra forest. How old-fashioned! Now you can camp inside a hotel room where the living is easy. You can tell ghost stories and pretend to make S’mores over the fake campfire. And, after dark, you can flip off the lights and from your campsite view the heavens above. Well, you can view the ceiling, anyway. If you hear rumbling, it’s not voices from heaven but the guy upstairs snoring.

This is the ultimate in “glamping.” Too cold for you? Too hot? This tenting site has a thermostat. How about that? And no rain either, until the world’s most clueless guest forgets he or she is indoors and builds a real fire, which would set off the room’s sprinkler system which would be a lot like a real rain shower except hotter. So it’s probably best to leave your hallucinogenic drugs at home.

This spectacularly ridiculous accommodation is one of 24 rooms in the Basecamp Hotel in the California resort town of Tahoe City, on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. A one-night stay this month will cost you between $199 and $329, depending on the day of the week. So it’s not a cheap campsite unless you’re a billionaire, in which case everything is cheap except maybe a 150-foot yacht.

But good news: If you desperately crave a S’more, you’re in luck even though the fake campfire is of no help: You can buy one (or two or three or more!) at the front desk. Hallelujah!

Isn’t this all wonderful?

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. Hosted by Dave Solberg. Sign up.

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’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

Featured article

What’s the best RV road service for you?

bestBy Russ and Tiña De Maris
It’s a perennial question among RVers: Which emergency road service (ERS) is the best? If you Google the question, seems like everyone has an opinion. Trouble is, too many who bugle “such and such” a road service as the best have a stake in the game. Some get kickbacks if you click the link from their site and sign up. How can you get an objective look into what’s truly the best service for you?

We’ve done our best to answer that question by asking it of our readers. Hundreds of RVTravel.com readers took our survey. We didn’t just ask, “Which one do you like best?” We dug for details. Read the very comprehensive results here.

Today’s RV review…

No Boundaries NB20.4 Beast Mode prototype

Tony writes, “No Boundaries, or NoBo, is a relatively new division of Forest River that started in 2018 in recognition that there was a significant market for people interested in moving to a more off-grid camping solution but who still wanted all the relative creature comforts you get in a travel trailer.”

Read more

For previous RV reviewsclick here.
Tony’s RV reviews also appear daily on Facebook.

Around the Campfire: Would you change your RV’s flat tire yourself?

By Gail Marsh
A late arrival to the campfire explained that this RVer didn’t intend to pull into the campground after nine in the evening. He arrived late because he had a flat tire on his travel trailer. After waiting three hours for road assistance to show up, he finally changed the tire himself. I wondered what other RVers would do in this situation, so I posed the question to everyone else sitting around the fire: If your RV got a flat tire while traveling, would you try changing it yourself or would you call roadside assistance? Read a wide variety of responses here.

The bright, bold Westcraft trailers: A painted treasure from the past

Westcraft trailers were known for using high-quality building materials and for painting their aluminum shells in bright and bold colors. This 1950 Westcraft Trolley Top is a testament to the color craze of its time. The Trolley Top, also referred to as a Lantern Top, was not only popular due to its exterior, but also due to its advanced interior design. Continue reading.

Could you ‘full-time’ in a 17-foot travel trailer?

By Randall Brink
It’s a perennial question: “Would I be better off with a smaller RV?” Like boat people, RVers tend to progress through a somewhat predictable series of ever-larger RVs until they have reached the pinnacle of RV ownership: the coach that’s too big for them. I have done this with boats and RVs and then survived the downsizing experience. You can, too. Should you? Read more.

Know Your RV: Dripping air conditioner woes

One of the great gifts for summertime RVing is that rooftop air conditioner. It can turn a blisteringly hot, miserably muggy day into a whole new ball game. But sometimes these RV chillers come with unwelcome surprises: Dripping air. Dripping? Raindrops keep falling on your head—inside your RV! Read about the easy fix here.

Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters

This Ghostbusters tribute car cruises campgrounds, bringing smiles to all

By Nanci Dixon
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! For several years we have watched a Ghostbusters tribute car complete with the Ghostbusters theme song and a waving puppet cruise through the campground. We always wave and smile. So do the delighted kids. This year Chris and Sarah Holt decided to stop and introduce themselves. Continue reading about this amazing couple.

RV Checklists: Everything to do before leaving the campground

Gail Marsh has put together this very thorough checklist of things to do before leaving the campground. It’s also available in pdf format so you can download it and use it each time you are getting ready to leave a campsite. Get it here.

RV boo-boos: Trailer smacked from behind on the freeway. Ouch!

“We expected our RV adventure would be once we got there—not on the freeway!” might have been the explanation given on this one. We don’t know, but without a doubt, the RVer in this story, hit from behind on the freeway, probably had a few colorful things to say. Big Ouch!

Reader Poll

What kind of roads do you dislike driving the most?

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

Tell us here

You need to put these incredible Midwest caves on your RV’s ‘to-visit’ list

Are you a spelunker (one who makes a hobby of exploring and studying caves)? Do you want to escape summer’s heat? Are you fascinated by underground passageways? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to plan an RV trip to visit these Midwest caves.

The long, long RV trip, Week 11: Ohio Turnpike camping, Airstreams, caverns, and beer

By Cheri Sicard
I had been in the Chicago area nearly a month and even though my friends assured me I could stay much longer, it was time to move on. When moochdocking, always leave them wanting more, I say. Plus, I was headed to the brand-new Airstream Heritage Center. As a lifelong Airstream fan, I had been looking forward to this for a long time. Read more.

RV Prospector: Game-changing Gold Hog FlowPan speeds panning

Over the past 150 years of prospecting history, many have attempted to improve upon the method of use and recovery speed of the essential round gold pan. The original prospector’s tool was a metal, sometimes copper, pan, fashioned and formed by forging. The pans were effective but heavy and, if used correctly, slow. A man could only process so many pans per day of back-breaking work at the stream’s edge. As modern RV prospectors, most of us are still looking for that perfect panning device. It might be 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.

Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.

Saturday Giveaway!

How would you like to win this very cool tablecloth?

You will be the envy of the campground with this tablecloth on your picnic table. The images of the cute little retro trailers might even enhance the flavor of your food (probably not, but it’s possible!).

How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (August 20, 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.

Okay, we gotta admit… this is absolutely brilliant. It’s for that person you know who tends to spend a little too much time in the bathroom… It would also be very fun for guests!


with Mike Sokol

Doing my RVelectricity virtual seminar at the FROG Rally

sick dogUnfortunately, I caught COVID 10 days ago, which triggered my bronchitis and laid me flat on my back for a week. I asked my doctor if I was okay to tow a trailer from Maryland to Goshen, Indiana, for the FROG (Forest River Owners Group) Rally this week, to which she replied “Are you nuts?!”

So, rather than ditching my RVelectricity seminars at the FROG Rally, I decided to try them as virtual Zoom seminars this time.

Read more

Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Can a solar panel overcharge your battery?

Visit Mike’s RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.

Video of the day

INCREDIBLE double-decker bus RV tiny home conversion

This double-decker bus RV conversion is about as luxe as it gets. But in a family way. Six lucky kids and their parents call this tiny home tour bus conversion their home on the road.

Aside from the long, narrow shape, once inside you would never know this was a bus. Its stylish contemporary farmhouse style design says Manhattan apartment, not converted tour bus!

Click here to watch 

Pocket-sized pain and bug bite itch relief balm is good to have! 
This small anti-itch and pain balm is good to keep in your pocket or purse any time you’re around pesky mosquitoes. It’s an all-natural balm made with essential oils that helps relieve pain and reduce swelling. It also helps with spider bites and bee stings. Learn more or order. And see other bug-bite relief and prevention options in this article.

RV Tire Safety

Do you need to weigh the RV and adjust tire inflation each trip?

With Roger Marble
You do not need to weigh your RV every trip. You also do not need to adjust tire inflation each trip. Unless you are making significant (1,000# or more) changes in what you pack in your RV, I see no reason to be messing with tire inflation once you have been on a scale to learn the actual load on your tires.

Read more

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

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.

RV Short Stop

Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Wisconsin

By Julianne G. Crane
If you’re into fishing and traveling through the Midwest, head direct for the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin. The Hall of Fame recognizes anglers who have achieved renown in the sport of fresh water fishing. It sits on six acres of landscaped grounds with a “Sea of Fishes” — including oversized fiberglass bass, perch and bluegill. The most popular attraction of the complex is “The Big Muskie” which is one-half city block long and stands 4-1/2 stories tall.

Read more

RV Fire Safety

Keep your fire extinguisher full

Do not pull the pin and expel the contents to test your powder extinguisher. If you use a portion of the powder extinguisher, have it refilled or replaced immediately. When you have a fire extinguisher refilled, ask to shoot off the charge first (most refill stations have a special place where this can be done safely). This lets you see how far it shoots and how long a charge lasts. Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy

Johnny Robot

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

Today, Johnny tackles these questions:

  • Why don’t RVs have king-sized beds (for a couple who don’t get along)?
  • What should 104-year-old male RVer do when the only person who wants to travel with him is a 19-year-old homecoming queen?
  • Reader wants to know if she can power her motorhome with rubber bands.

Read Johnny’s answers

Recipe of the Day

Green Beans With Cream Cheese Sauce
by Jane Kear from Edmond, OK

This may become your new favorite way to enjoy green beans. If you’re not into green bean casserole, this is a way to elevate green beans for a holiday. But they’re so easy to make, we think they’ll be delicious alongside steak or chicken, too. They’re creamy, savory, and sweet all at the same time!

Get the recipe here

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Readers’ Pets of the Day

“My 11-year-old English Bulldogs are the joys of my life. Whereas Capone is a happy-go-lucky fella with lots of time to play and cuddle, Annabelle is the exact opposite. She allows the rest of us to exist around her. She is the Queen and we are all merely her servants. But I wouldn’t have her any other way. I know (hope) that down deep in her Bully little heart she loves me. She does love her brother and looks after him. Especially now that he is sick with congestive heart failure. Sad to say we probably don’t have that much time left with our little sweetie. Annabelle is on the left.” —Richard Lizotte

We’re sorry to hear about Capone, Richard. He looks like a sweetheart and will certainly be missed by Annabelle and their humans.

Send us a photo of your pet with a short description. We publish one each weekday in RV Daily Tips and in our Saturday RV Travel newsletter. No blurry photos, please! Please do not submit your photo more than once. Thanks!

Brain Teaser

Can you find the seagull? Click the image to enlarge.

Image courtesy of galabingo.com

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


7-Eleven stores were originally called “Tote’m Stores.” Back in the 1920s, the Southland Ice Company operated a chain of ice houses around Dallas, TX, where customers would stock up on ice for their ice boxes. An employee at the time, John Jefferson Green, got permission to start selling basic kitchen goods such as milk, eggs and bread at one of the 16 stores. The model was very successful and, eventually, all other stores adopted selling other kitchen and food products. The stores were renamed “Tote’m Stores,” which was a nod to the fact that customers “toted” away their purchases. However, also at this time, one of their employees had brought back a large Inuit totem pole from a trip to Alaska and erected it outside their store. This is another reason it was named “Tote’m.” This pole was so eye-catching that pretty soon there was a totem pole in front of every store.

Today, we know “Tote’m Stores” as 7-Elevens. The stores were renamed in 1946 to reflect their new and expanded hours of operation.

Laugh of the Week

Reader Randy Worley submitted this to our photo contest, but we know it will make you laugh so we’re using it here instead. Randy wrote, “I think my ears popped!” Too funny! Thanks for submitting, Randy.


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.

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.

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.

Facebook Groups: Free and Inexpensive RV campgroundsRV Advice • RVing Over 60

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, Dave Helgeson, Mike Gast, 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.

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)
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Editorial (news)
: chuck@rvtravel.com
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This newsletter is copyright 2022 by RV Travel LLC.


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Tom S (@guest_198884)
1 year ago

There used to be Utotum stores in the Denver area in the late 60s.

Sally Harnish (@guest_198837)
1 year ago

I can’t wait to see the cluster when the recalls start for this awning fiasco. Jayco just released a huge recall for the same thing.

Heather (@guest_198825)
1 year ago

I think hotels are getting desperate to attract customers. There’s been articles on how many hotel rooms are actually lying empty more often than not throughout a given year. That’s because people like me use Airbnb instead of these very same exorbitantly priced hotels. We’d rather give our $ to an empty nester with a spare room so the hotels lose out. Until the average hotel reduces its room rates to truly reasonable prices, they can come up with whatever dumb scheme they want, they still will be hurting for customers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Heather
LauraG (@guest_198830)
1 year ago
Reply to  Heather

I agree. In pigeon forge the hotel room rates are astronomical and you’ll get a dive unless you pay $200 a night, for that price you can get an entire tiny cabin. Hotel prices are way too high.

LauraG (@guest_198814)
1 year ago

Most Ridiculous campsight is an understatement. I can just see the rich bored signing up to “camp” in that hotel now. “Face palm”.
That’s ok let them pay for that nonsense and stay away from real campers.

Sally Harnish (@guest_198835)
1 year ago
Reply to  LauraG

“Stay away from real campers”, excellent response. Of course when looking at the location and state, it says it all!

Shawna (@guest_198679)
1 year ago

Super newsletter always and today’s was off the chart with great info. Really liked the roadside service survey.

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