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August 20, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
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.
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?
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. Hosted by Dave Solberg. Sign up.
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.)
What’s the best RV road service for you?
By 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…
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.”
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
- Put together an emergency getaway bag right now. It’s important!
- Follow these important steps to protect your home while you’re gone RVing
- Coyote camping: Your RV at home on the open desert
- Performing RV walkarounds can save time and money
- Why coyotes pose a threat to your pet in campgrounds
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- My RV’s windshield has a leak. Where can I get it fixed?
- There’s a crack near my RV’s fiberglass slide. How do I fix it?
- How difficult is it to remove RV ceiling panels to access wiring?
- Can I install a ladder on the back of my RV? Where and how?
- Our RV’s entry door is not flush with the frame. How can I fix it?
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 ??????
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
Unfortunately, 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.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Can a solar panel overcharge your battery?
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!
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.
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
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.
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
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.
Recipe of the Day
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!
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!
Can you find the seagull? Click the image to enlarge.
(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 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.
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, 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.
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