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November 12, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
A wonderful tribute to Veterans by Ernie Pyle
With Chuck Woodbury
esterday was a special day. And, as we do every year, in honor of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day in Canada and other Commonwealth nations, we submit this story by beloved World War II columnist Ernie Pyle, one of my heroes. This is perhaps Ernie’s most famous story. If you have never read it, grab a tissue. If you’ve read it before, read it again. It’s eternally wonderful.
And from my staff and me—we wish to thank every American veteran on this holiday when we celebrate your bravery protecting our freedoms. And, as always, we thank our wonderful northern neighbors, those Canadian veterans who are always by our side! And, of course, we must not forget our readers in the U.K., New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere who stood with us.
And now, Ernie’s heartwarming tale.
The Death of Captain Waskow
By Ernie Pyle
AT THE FRONT LINES IN ITALY, Jan. 10, 1944 (by Wireless) – In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Capt. Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Tex.
Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had been in this company since long before he left the States. He was very young, only in his middle twenties, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.
“After my own father, he comes next,” a sergeant told me.
“He always looked after us,” a soldier said. “He’d go to bat for us every time.”
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 was your worst mechanical or driving mishap while RVing?
Your answers to this week’s question just might help another RVer avoid trouble. We want to know about your RV mishaps. In other words, what was the worst mechanical or driving mishap you have ever experienced while RVing? Did you learn anything that might prevent others from having the same issue?
By Tony Barthel
The best kind of vehicle for RVing is the simple American V8 pickup truck. Period. And I also realize those are fighting words with some people. Further, my defense is of the gasoline V8 pickup. Why do I feel this way? Find out here.
Today’s RV review…
Tony writes that this is “a unique bunkhouse travel trailer model. I think that mentioning the term bunkhouse puts a certain image in our heads. I’d like to encourage you to forget that for a moment. This is quite different.”
Readers speak out: These are our favorite municipal campgrounds in the U.S.
Last week we asked you about municipal campgrounds. We asked, “What is the best city or county campground you have ever stayed in and why?” … Understandably, some of you did not want to share. For instance, Lorelei J. wrote, “It wouldn’t be a favorite if everyone knew about it.” For those who did share, to make this compilation most useful, we divided your recommendations alphabetically by state, then by city or town within that state. Check these out.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: ‘They taped my roof together and told me it was repaired’
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 we hear from readers who have had issues with repair service (and money stolen from their RV) at Camping World. We received some advice from an RVer who was married to a certified RV technician who would come home from work every night and lament that the RV industry was in a “race to the bottom.” You won’t believe the roof that was “repaired” with tape! However, there is praise for some specific service centers and also for mobile techs. Read more.
RV Engineer answers: “Is silicone sealant the worst thing ever for your RV?”
If you like poking bears, stirring up hornets, and awakening sleeping dogs, then you’ll love the question, “Should I use silicone sealant on my RV?” Many RV owners would rather swallow a live June bug than spread silicone caulk over their rigs. “Silicone is the worst possible product you could use,” they warn. “It will peel, and nothing will ever stick to it again!” Should you believe these fireside horror stories of silicone gone awry? Find out here.
50 days of traveling like the ‘old days’: No reservations, no itinerary
By Nanci Dixon
My husband and I just spent 50 days traveling like in the good old days: no reservations, no itinerary. Freedom! Many of you know that I write our weekly column “Campground Crowding” and hear many peoples’ frustrations with crowded campgrounds and their difficulty making reservations at their favorite parks. I also read a lot of comments from those that have no issues. Is there really crowding? Read about Nanci’s experience here.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Tips for cleaning the inside of your windshield
- Electric power: Learn to read the meter at your campsite
- Uses for forks while RVing that don’t involve eating
- Tips for safe driving on snow or ice
- A Vet’s View: “Camping is therapeutic for military veterans”
This is the time of day you’re most likely to hit a deer
It’s a nice evening. Not much traffic on the road. You are a bit tired after a long drive and looking forward to that next RV park for the night. Suddenly, a deer darts across the road followed by two more. You saw the “deer crossing” sign, so you are alert. You brake and, thankfully, no collision. As an RVer, you most likely have seen your share of critters on the road. Hopefully, you have avoided any unpleasant critter collision(s). However, be aware. There are certain times when you are more likely to encounter a deer crossing the road. Learn more.
Around the Campfire: Having fun reminiscing about things from the past
By Gail Marsh
A while back I posed the idea of a magic wand for RVers. Many of our readers responded with ideas about how to use the wand, but the idea that caught my attention was the suggestion to transport RVers back in time. Way back to the ’50s and ’60s! I got to thinking about all the things that were popular back then and that now are gone, but perhaps not forgotten. See how many you recall!
How to have a successful winter camping trip, even in negative temps
By Nanci Dixon
Successful winter camping? Yes! It’s easy to enjoy the solitude and beauty of winter camping, you just have to know how to do it safely. The end of the season when it’s time to pack up the RV, winterize it, and put it in storage has always been a rather sad time. That is, until I was able to convince my husband that we could still RV—we just needed to do a little more prep and do without some of the fancy luxuries that an RV provides. Let me tell you one thing about winter camping: There is no campground crowding! Learn all about the joys of winter camping here.
Have you spent a free night in a parking lot with your RV in the last year?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
POPULAR POLL FROM THIS PAST WEEK
We asked: Will you go south for the winter in your RV for at least two months? Do you think 57 percent said yes or no? Find out here.
Take a moment and grade your RVing experience
Your RV may well be closed up for winter. Even if it’s not, perhaps this is as good a time as any to think about your overall RVing experience. If you were to assign RVing a grade based on your personal rubric or expectations, what grade would your RVing experience receive? There are at least two good reasons to evaluate your RVing experience from time to time. Here’s why, plus what and how to evaluate/grade your RVing experience. This could be eye-opening.
RV boo-boos: That sinking feeling—from a slightly off-road adventure
Willie Nelson waxed poetic about “Goin’ places where I’ve never been.” Does Willie have good towing coverage? For RVers, going where we’ve never been is often a big attraction, as it is for reader Frank B. Early this year, Frank got a yen for a side trip off the beaten track of California’s I-8. But it wasn’t long before a sinking feeling would put his tow coverage to the test. He explains.
A true camp staple: Alaska Sourdough Hardtack
By Randall Brink
Many years in Alaska taught me the importance of having certain staple foods always on hand. One of these was “hardtack” or dry bread, also known as “Pilot Bread.” … The Pilot Bread used to be readily available in the Lower 48 states, but now it is nearly impossible to find in stores. I’ve ordered Pilot Bread through Amazon, but the product always arrives pulverized by the shipping process. A better solution: Make it yourself. Here’s how. Yum!
Cycling for RVers: What bike should I buy? Part 2, Mountain bikes
By Keith Ward
In last week’s Cycling for RVers column, I discussed road bikes, and how appropriate they are for most RVers (the short answer: not very). … This week we tackle mountain bikes. These bikes have been around for many decades, and have many things in common—and not—with the other bikes on this list. Mountain bikes are for riding in mountains (of course), but they’re much more versatile than that, being useful in a variety of environments. … Find out if they’re appropriate for RVers here.
The long, long RV trip
Week 23: Propane danger; more Oregon explorations
This week Cheri Sicard writes about careless propane danger (you can learn from her mistake); fun stops in Portland and Beaverton, OR; fishing and relaxing in Cottage Grove, OR (with a rich film history); and going WAY off-grid (to the top of a mountain) in Southern Oregon. Read all about those experiences 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 George Foreman Grill?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 12, 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:
- Quick RV Tech Tip: There’s still some water in the fresh water tank when I winterize. Is that okay?
- Cold water runs in a trickle, but hot water runs fine. What gives?
- Can I walk on my roof? Can I add on a ladder? Help!
- Can I relocate my slide room switch? It’s in the worst place!
- Any comments about the Alde heating system?
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
No gadget today, but don’t forget to read yesterday’s brand-new issue of the Great RV Accessories Newsletter edited by Tony Barthel. It’s filled with gadgets galore! Click here to read.
with Mike Sokol
Introducing SoftStartHome for residential air conditioners
As you may know, I’ve been doing field and lab testing on a number of different SoftStart products over the last two years. … I’ve had dozens of inquiries on the availability of a SoftStart controller that could be used on a 240-volt central air conditioner. This would allow for a smaller 240-volt generator to power a house air conditioner during an emergency power outage. Why is that important? Well, electrical blackouts are getting to be more common due to hurricanes, flooding, fires, and even planned rolling blackouts. The SoftStartHome is the latest SoftStart product from NetworkRV.
Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.) Session: Winter battery maintenance
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
If you need a gift for a veteran this year, we think this would be the perfect thing. And, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from that we couldn’t pick just one. (However, this one might be our favorite…)
Video of the day
7 bicycle campers: Micro trailers that can be towed with a bike!
Believe it or not, bicycle campers are a thing. And they are awesome!
Whether you bike to your destination or drive to an area then bike off to an incredible camping spot you couldn’t otherwise easily reach, these micro campers are the height of innovative small-space living.
RV Tire Safety
Which brand tire should I buy?
By Roger Marble
“Which brand tire should I buy?” This reasonable question was asked recently. I thought I might share my answer as maybe some readers of RV Travel have similar thoughts. … Well, you all know that I prefer to keep my tire comments “company neutral” and stick to facts and data. But I do believe that many readers probably have similar questions even if the size or details are different. But … here goes.
Ask Roger anything about RV tires on his RV Tires Forum.
RV Fire Safety
An emergency fire plan that can save your life
Having a solid fire escape plan may help you replace panic with logical, life-saving actions if a fire occurs. Knowing exactly what to do and doing it quickly can make a big difference in an emergency situation.
Part 3 of 13: The more “automatic” your response is to a fire alarm in your coach, the better. To help make your response more automatic, establish a fire escape plan and have fire drills regularly. The first step to developing an effective fire plan is to make sure everyone is familiar with at least two escape routes—one in the front and one in the rear of the coach. As soon as they’re old enough, teach children to open hatches and emergency exits.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Think there’s no moisture in your RV? Think again!
If you think your RV is dry, you’re probably wrong. DampRid will prove it to you! DampRid attracts and removes excess moisture, creating fresher, cleaner, mold-free air. Additionally, just one 18-oz. container removes all odors within 300 square feet. That’s impressive! Living with a pet in your RV? Husband have stinky feet? Funky smells coming from the bathroom? This will help, and remove all moisture in the meantime. Learn more or order.
Recipe of the Day
by Debbie Rohan from Boerne, TX
Dubliner cheese has a more sharp taste to it than traditional cheddar cheese. It adds a great flavor that enhances the simple dinner. Panko crumbs, mixed with the cheese and butter, make the crust perfectly crunchy. Cod or any other type of white fish would also work in this recipe.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Rose, a ‘Cava-Poo-Chon’ (Cavalier King Charles, Toy Poodle & Bichon Frise mix), loved to go anywhere on exploratory journeys with the family. She loved the outdoors—the hiking, the swimming (well… sometimes), the exploring and the scents of anything new. She especially liked it when we would stop for fast food lunches when we were on our trips. (She loved In-n-Out Burgers—but she only got the meat, not all the extras.) Sadly, she had congestive heart failure and passed about two months ago.” —Jim Van Riper
Camping with the Corps of Engineers
Many RVers consider Corps of Engineers campgrounds to be the best in the country. This guide is just for RVers – boat-in and tent-only sites are not included. Of all the public lands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available. In fact, it’s the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Learn more or order.
Re-arrange the letters, O O U S W T D N E J R, to spell just one word. Can you 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.)
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, early American farmers used corncobs as toilet paper. They write, “Dried corncobs were plentiful and quite efficient at cleaning. They were also softer on tender areas than you might think. Even after toilet paper became available, some people in Western states still preferred corncobs when using the outhouse.”
Laugh of the Week
Two guys were out walking their dogs on a hot day when they pass by a pub. The first guy says, “Let’s go in there for a pint.” Second guy says, “They won’t let us in with our dogs.” First guy: “Sure they will, just follow my lead.” He goes up to the pub, and sure enough the doorman says, “I can’t let you in here with that dog.” He replies, “Oh, I’m blind and this is my seeing-eye dog.” The doorman says, “OK then, come on in.” The second guy sees this and does the same thing. He goes up to the pub and the doorman says, “You can’t come in here with a dog.” He replies, “I’m blind and this is my seeing-eye dog.” The doorman responds, “You have a chihuahua for a seeing-eye dog?” The second guy stops for a second, then exclaims, “They gave me a chihuahua?!”
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?
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, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Mike Gast, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw 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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