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Chatting with Chuck
RVtravel.com founder and publisher Chuck Woodbury is away today and will not conduct his Chatting with Chuck live video chat. He will return next Saturday.
November 5, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
The curse of my cell phone
By Chuck Woodbury
There are times I wish cell phones were never invented.
A few weeks ago, my phone rang. I reached to my back pocket to grab it. But no, I suddenly realized, it was not my cell phone. The “ring” was the jingle of an ice cream truck approaching in the distance.
I have reached for my phone at the sound of microwaves, washing machines, trucks backing up, and, of course, the ring of other people’s phones. A friend of mine had a parrot that could replicate a phone ring almost perfectly. That would be a real problem, I would guess.
Yesterday while enjoying my coffee at a cafe, a phone alarm went off. I reached for my back pocket, then realized it was from the guy’s phone at the next table.
Oh, I love my cell phone. I do. But it’s a love-hate thing. I feel lost without it. But before I had a cell phone I did not feel lost without it because I didn’t even know what “it” was. When I began RVing back in the Stone Age before the Internet and portable phones, when I camped, the idea of “being connected” meant camping within walking distance of a phone booth.
Back then, with a very basic RV with no bells and whistles, my life moved at a slower pace. Nobody “bugged” me with interruptions. No spam calls. No text messages. Life was more peaceful.
I believe I was “camping” in a truer sense than today, at least by my definition which was formed when camping with my parents as a little boy.
I am so confused about this subject that I can’t sum up my feelings in only a few hundred words. But I bet at least some readers have similar thoughts.
Again, I am not complaining, just saying…
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Chuck’s Aunt Linda (who is on vacation with Chuck and Gail right now!) had her house broken into earlier this week. Among many other things, her 1999 white Ford F-250 extended cab diesel truck was stolen from her home in Lindsay, California (south of Fresno). The truck was stolen between October 30th and November 1st. California plates: 6B56087. If seen, please call Officer Sanchez at 1-559-733-6218.
Here is today’s edition of our photo contest. Please vote for your favorite. Once you’ve voted, please submit your own photo for consideration. Winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card. Good luck!
Please note: We’ve changed the rules around a little bit. Please read the updated rules here. And don’t forget to submit a photo!
Psssst: Remember, you can vote through next Friday! If your photo is selected, share it with your friends and family. Everyone can vote once per day.
We want to know…
What is the best city or county campground you have ever stayed in and why?
Do idyllic campsites exist? Yes, and they’re not hard to find
By Dave Helgeson (veteran boondocker)
Past RVtravel.com articles question if the idyllic campsites pictured in RV industry ads really exist. Publisher Chuck Woodbury suggests they are staged where you aren’t allowed to camp. Others I see are photoshopped, often quite poorly, in a scenic location. … What is missing from the above definitions [of idyllic campsites]? The words RV park, campground, or Walmart. Therefore, it only stands to reason if you want to find idyllic campsites, like those pictured in the ads, you may want to look outside the confines of a traditional RV park or campground. Learn how to easily find them here.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes, “Today’s RV review is of the Keystone Montana High Country 385BR, a large, mid-bunk fifth wheel that could be a great choice even if you don’t have littles that travel with you. In fact, if I were looking for a larger fifth wheel to fit my own lifestyle, I would not be able to rule this one out. … There’s a lot I really liked about the predecessor to this and it’s now even more up my alley. What’s more, there have been other changes to this rig, including an upgrade to a 16-gallon water heater. Honestly, this rig is so well thought through I couldn’t find any nits to pick.”
RV engineer spills the dirty truth about RV cargo capacity
By Ross Regis
In the alphabet soup of RV towing capacities, Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) is usually overshadowed by Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) … “But, Ross,” you interrupt, “that’s techno-talk. That’s for RV nerds (no offense). I’m just shopping around!” Then you are EXACTLY who should be reading this post! Most buyers don’t pay attention to that little black-and-yellow sticker until AFTER their purchase, and by then it’s $75,000 too late. Read this important information.
The last Airstream built before WWII
By Paul Lacitinola
When this 1941 Airstream Clipper came up for sale, the Gulleys were extremely excited and jumped at the chance to own another piece of trailer history! Thinking it may be a rare piece, they didn’t hesitate to seal the deal and take possession. Turns out it wasn’t the trailer they were told it was; however, it did have an even more desirable provenance! Learn more.
Readers speak out: Scary times at unsafe and creepy campsites
By Cheri Sicard
Last week we asked RVtravel.com readers about creepy campsites with this question: Have you ever left a campsite or campground because you felt unsafe or otherwise just creeped out? If so, why? As usual, our readers had a lot to say. However, we were happy with the large number of respondents that had never had this unfortunate experience. Read what many of your fellow RVers said here. (Tip: Listen to your gut.)
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: “RVs are rolling fiberglass dumpsters!”
By Nanci Dixon
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. We’ll tell you all: the best, the good, the bad and the ugly. This week our readers tell more horror stories about so-called repairs done to their RVs, including problems a manufacturer has had for at least 13 years. The manufacturer got sued by the owner of an RV rental company 13 years ago and he won, but the problem persists. Another customer had several items stolen from the RV while it was in for repairs—more than once! Lots more here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Tips for removing that musty smell from RV towels
- How do I fix RV delamination?
- 10 smart ways you can use toothpicks while RVing
- No smoking – especially in shore power connections
- RV travel tips no one told me about that I wish I knew before I started RVing
Around the Campfire: RVers share their “RV envy.” Is bigger more desirable?
By Gail Marsh
What a discussion around the campfire a few nights ago! A gal with a small RV admitted she sometimes experiences “RV envy.” From there, the discussion exploded. Read more, then share your thoughts in the comments.
Best demonstration of travel trailer sway danger
Trailer sway is dangerous and can ultimately prove deadly when it results in a crash. Here, we believe, is the best video demonstration of how trailer sway occurs and how to prevent it.
The reasons why RVing keeps you young
By Gail Marsh
Sixteenth-century Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth. If only RVs had been invented back then! Why? Because I believe RVing can help keep you young! Read on to discover my reasoning.
Did you have a Kool-Aid or lemonade stand as a kid?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment. (And do we have to tell you to keep politics out of it? Please? This is strictly about having a refreshment stand as a kid. Period.)
Reader asks: Fuse is popping. How do I find the short?
By Dustin Simpson
Recently, our RV repair shop received the below email from Lee, an RVtravel.com reader, regarding the 30-amp fuse that keeps popping: “We have a 2021 F-350 towing a 2018 Reflection 337RLS. The problem is that somewhere there is a short. I don’t know if it’s in the trailer or the truck. …” Read the rest of the question and watch the video here.
Sleep in a human-sized bird’s nest, or a fire lookout, or in a wine barrel!
By Gail Marsh
Have you ever wondered how you might travel or camp if you didn’t have an RV? With high fuel prices, it’s a question more and more RVers seem to be asking. … For those of you who crave the exhilaration of the extreme, unusual, or even weird experiences, this article will whet your appetite! For the rest of us (non-adventurous and mildly adventurous ones), it’s entertaining and mind-blowing to discover the unusual ways some folks “camp” without an RV! Check these out!
Cycling for RVers: What bike should I buy? Part 1, Road bikes
By Keith Ward
There’s no doubt about it: RVing and cycling go together like milk and chocolate syrup. Many RVers see bicycles as another type of RV: the two-wheeled recreational vehicle. When you’re considering buying a bike, there’s a dizzying array of choices. Again, much like RVs. I’m here to help you sort out those choices, and find the best bike for you. This is the first article in a multi-part series on types of bicycles. I’ll give advice at the end of each on whether each type is a good choice for RVers, and why or why not. Learn everything you wanted to know about road bikes, and more, here.
The long, long RV trip
Week 22: Riverfront camping in Portland, OR; Hood River Fruit Loop
By Cheri Sicard
Those who have been following along on this journey already know that whenever possible, I avoid commercial RV parks in my travels. But sometimes it’s necessary, depending on where I want to go and how long I want to stay there. Such was the case with Portland, Oregon. Little did I know when I started searching for camping in Portland, that I would find one of my all-time FAVORITE campgrounds. Read all about it and much more of Cheri’s continuing adventures 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 Portable Vacuum Cleaner?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 5, 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.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
We know you love these (we do, too!) and this one is especially fun! Get cozy and get ready…
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- When RV is plugged in to shore power, why isn’t house battery charging?
- I want to clean my black tank valve but I can’t find it
- Quick RV Tech Tip: Do some of RV drains go into the black tank? Is it legal?
- What’s the proper procedure for winterizing an Onan genset?
- Can I run RV’s residential refrigerator overnight when not plugged into shore power?
Visit Dave’s forum on RVtravel.com. Ask him a question or help answer one from another reader. Click here.
By RV Travel publisher Chuck Woodbury
Book for newbie RVers a must-have!
If you are planning to buy your first RV or are just getting started with your first rig, this book by RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury should be a must-read. The ABCs of RVing answers important questions that newbie RVers don’t even know enough to ask! Read this, and you’ll save countless hours of research and avoid making costly rookie mistakes. It’s available in both printed and free Kindle Unlimited editions.
Video of the day
Take a tour of 15 amazing celebrity motorhomes and RVs
Surprise! Celebrities like RVs just as much as the rest of us. Sure, some of the celebrity motorhomes and trailers profiled in the video below might be a tad more luxurious than what MOST of us are used to, but it is RV life nonetheless.
This video gives a quick overview of 15 celebrity motorhomes. Aside from Matthew McConaughey’s Airstream, which is nice but humble by comparison, these are some over-the-top and mega-expensive RVs. But they sure are fun to look at!
RV Tire Safety
Six blowouts! Help! “I’m at my wit’s end”
By Roger Marble
Here is a series of posts from an RV forum. I am inclined to think that the experiences are not that unusual. This is a long post, but I thought that giving the background, and my recommendations, might help others that have tire problems to know that they are not alone. Continue reading.
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
Don’t take a break on your brakes!
Every RVer needs one of these!
Wonder what it would be like to have your brakes go out while you’re going down a long, steep grade? You might find out if your brake fluid is moisture-contaminated. Water in brake fluid boils and can wipe out your braking ability! Buy yourself a brake-fluid tester for about $10 that warns you if there’s too much water in your fluid. Simply dip the tester into your rig’s brake fluid and you’ll be able to see where you stand. Learn more or order.
Recipe of the Day
by Cathy LaFay from Cape Coral, FL
All the flavor of Buffalo wings without the mess! A delicious dinner during football season when your favorite team is playing late. This chicken pasta is very filling. We added extra chicken breast and it was a great pasta-to-chicken ratio. The Buffalo sauce is creamy and delicious. Serve with a side of celery and ranch, and cheer on your favorite team while enjoying a comforting dinner.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Our Mini Aussie, Red, is just a little over two months old and is a complete bundle of joy! We brought him home at 6 weeks and it’s been like he’s lived here forever. We wanted to find a pet to go camping and hiking with and with his full sibling at 20 lbs. he fit the bill. We are getting ready to take him on his first camping adventure within the week. They say money can’t buy love but they haven’t met Red!” —Lorene Accurso
Two cops walked into a room with no windows and found a dead man who obviously hung himself from the ceiling, though they couldn’t figure out how. There was no chair or table beneath him that he might have jumped off. Just a puddle of water. How did he do it?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Here’s an idea for you: record your history
Record your family history on your iPhone or video camera. If you want some inspiration, we recommend you get the book To Our Children’s Children. It will prompt many ideas of what to talk about. Your children and grandchildren will appreciate this when you are gone. Think about it – wouldn’t you love it if your parents had done this for you?
A popular tongue-twister, “She Sells Seashells by the Seashore,” was likely written about a female paleontologist who sold dinosaur bones in the 1800s. It’s thought that Mary Anning, a woman who ran a small fossil stand on Dorset Beach in England (an area that’s known for a plentiful amount of dinosaur bones), inspired the rhyme. Anning was responsible for finding some of the first dinosaur fossils in Britain.
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.
Dustin Simpson RV Repair and Maintenance Articles: Incredibly helpful!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Meet Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of RVtravel.com friend R.L. Crabb.
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, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw, Mike Sokol, and Johnny Robot. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore, Linda Brady. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Mascots: Archie and Astor (the Disaster)
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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