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November 26, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Guest essay: Don’t stop at “making” memories in an RV
By Nina Soltwedel
wning an RV means, for many of us, taking extended trips. Many reading right now may recall having taken a many-thousand-mile trip in their RV, camper, trailer, etc. – a trip that took them to far-off places to see vistas they’d not seen before, to meet new people along the way, to discover hidden treasures such as a magnificent vista just around that corner up ahead, or a place to camp on the edge of a peaceful lake with just the hoot of an owl to keep one company. You get the idea.
However, did you document that trip so that, years from now, you can open a notebook and relive the trip all over again?
I imagine some of you are thinking, “Yeah, but we took pictures. That’s documenting the memories.” I agree, but I suggest taking it one step further: Document the trip with something in addition to photos.
Recently, I decided to sort through the decades of photos, letters, cards, etc., that my hubby and I have accumulated, which were stored in assorted large plastic bins in our basement. I had three huge bins filled with items going back as far as when we both were babies (our respective parents saved everything), along with three smaller boxes overflowing with family photographs. I began sorting, and while doing that, I began to travel down Memory Lane … a very long lane!
Sorting through the photo albums, letters and keepsake items, I came across a camping journal I had purchased before we left on a trip to Alaska the summer of 2002. While we took many photos during our journey, the journal added so much more.
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 RV gadget/item would you ask Santa to bring you if money were no object?
What is on your RV wish list?
The holidays are coming up. This week we want to know, what RV gadget or item would you ask Santa to bring you if money were no object? We are going to ask about low-cost RV stocking stuffers next week, so let’s keep this week’s query to the BIG things you wish you could have to enhance your RV life and why you think they are so desirable.
Today’s RV review…
Some of my favorite Class B camper vans
Tony writes, “Last week we looked at a Class B RV that, well, wasn’t my favorite. A few of you wrote asking me if there is a Class B camper van that I might really like. Actually, there are a few of them out there, so I thought we could revisit some of my favorite camper vans and why I like them.”
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: They told me my A/C was brand-new, but it was from 1984!
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week we hear from several more readers with high praise for their service centers. Yay! But, of course, there are a couple of complaints about poor service, and one about a false claim of “new” equipment installed. Plus there’s some very worthwhile advice for anyone getting service on their RV. It’s all here.
How many sewer hoses does an RVer need?
By Dave Helgeson
I have been around RVs all my life. … A while ago my wife and I decided to join my son and his family camping in a full hookup campground, the first one we had camped at in more than a year. As I was escorting my grandson on his tricycle around one of the campground loops, I was rather shocked to see some RVs using THREE and even FOUR sewer hoses! Reflecting on my 50+ years being around RVs, I began to think, is this really where advances and “modern convenience” have brought us? Read more and please comment.
Veteran RVers offer advice for new RVers
Last week we asked you what RV advice you would give a new RVer. In other words, what you wished you knew when you started RVing. As usual, our readers had a lot of good things to say. Of course, a lot of you had the same advice. That’s OK. Great minds think alike, and there are certain themes that come up again and again when we talk about a topic such as this. What was the #1 piece of advice? Find out here, along with lots more advice.
Our staff and writers’ favorite RV gadgets of 2022
Earlier this week we sent out an email to all of our staff and writers. It asked, “What are your favorite RV gadgets/items? It can be anything from the best thing you use around the RV, to your favorite RV decor, to the thing that has the most uses around your RV. Your if-you-had-to-tell-a-new-RVer-
10 gifts for the RVer in your life
Every year you think about what to get your RVer. Here are 10 gifts that your RVer wants, but does not know yet. When they open one of these, they will be wide-eyed and big-smiled, trust me. Check out these unique gift ideas.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Tips, tricks, and hacks for using baby wipes while RVing
- Holding tank sensor maintenance
- Favorite lighting choices for camping and RVing
- Why should you install RV insect screens to protect your appliances?
- Tips on decorating your RV for the holidays
Two options to refill propane; one is a rip-off
It’s cold! And before long, winter’s temps will be even colder. For RVers who love to travel in the cold and snow, propane is a necessity. … In some cases, you may need it to stay alive! The cost of propane that fuels your RV furnace has increased significantly in the past several months. That’s why it’s important to know about the propane refill rip-off. You need to know the difference between paying a flat rate for propane or paying only for the propane drawn. Learn about it here.
Google Earth helps avoid sharp turns and narrow roads
By Nanci Dixon
Have a big rig? Well, don’t go here! Some places are just not big-rig friendly. Looking for an idyllic off-the-beaten-path campground in Trinidad, California, I found what looked like a little piece of floral heaven! Azalea Glen RV park sounded beautiful. The reviews were amazing. The enticement to drive just a bit out of the way was extreme. So I booked! … Find out what happened to Nanci and her husband here.
How it Happened: The history of the Coleman company
When you hear “Coleman” what comes to your mind? A tent or lantern? That green cooler? It’s no wonder that Coleman has become practically synonymous with camping and the great outdoors. This company has been around for more than 120 years! And here’s how it happened…
If RVtravel.com sold branded RV Travel “merch,” what would you like best?
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: When RVing, how often do you cook food over a campfire? The answers may surprise you! Find them here.
RV boo-boos – Class C, based on VW bus!
From the land that provides us with the amusement of kangaroos, wombats, and koalas, where else could you find a Class C motorhome built on a VW bus platform? Maybe Australians have more fun than we do in the 48. Check this out.
Around the Campfire: The meanings and origins of many fun camping idioms
By Gail Marsh
A recent holiday weekend brought several young families to the campground. Folks of all ages joined us around the campfire. After brief introductions were made, a young child asked an RVer this question: “Can I see ‘your neck of the woods’?” The RVer had mentioned this phrase during the conversation. The little boy thought it meant a tattoo! A lively conversation followed—all about camping idioms or folk-isms—their meanings and origins. Learn about them here. Can you think of any that they overlooked?
Cycling for RVers: What bike should I buy? Part 4, Hybrid bikes
By Keith Ward
This is the fourth and final entry in this series providing an overview of the different types of bikes. The first three discussed were road, mountain and gravel. Each of these bikes has their strengths and weaknesses, and they vary in their suitability for RVers. I believe that, for the majority of RVers, they’re not the best fit. Today, I go over the type of bike that should be at the top of your list: hybrid bikes. Why are they the top choice? Let’s take a look.
The long, long RV trip
Wrapping up the long, long RV trip: Final thoughts and takeaways
By Cheri Sicard
Thank you for following along on my Long Long RV Trip. This tour is now officially “back in the barn,” as we say in circus terms. I started last May in Southern California and am ending in November in Northern California. In between, I stayed in or passed through 25 states. You can’t do this much travel and not come away with some observations and takeaways. Some are on the state of the world, some are on the state of RVs and RVing. Continue reading Cheri’s takeaways from her trip.
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.
?????? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??????
If we’re being honest, we find this pretty bizarre. But maybe our mouths just aren’t big enough to understand???
How would you like to win a set of LED Trailer Lights?
Light up in style this holiday season with these retro trailer lights!
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (November 26, 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!
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: Solution for a rockin’-my-rig washing machine?
- Can I add a portable battery charger to improve slow slide function?
- Fresh water drain valve trickles, doesn’t drain
- I lost the water heater tank rinser inside the tank—Help!
- How do I winterize my Aqua-Hot heating system?
Have a question for Dave? Click on any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
Your hands won’t be tired or in pain with this caulking gun
Completing repairs and maintenance is a whole lot easier when you have the right tools on hand. Reseal your RV with the BEST caulking gun! This one is favored by RV technicians. If you’ve ever had to reseal any part of your RV, you know how tired your hand gets. This relieves that hand pain and makes the job easy. Learn more in this article, or buy one here.
with Mike Sokol
SoftStartHome test on a Honda EU7000i generator
I’ve been continuing my experiments with the new SoftStartHome™ controller. I don’t have a full report yet since it’s too cold and windy here in Maryland for a full current/temperature test.
However, I was able to do a preliminary trial using my Honda EU7000i generator to power an entire house along with a 15-year-old, 2-ton York air conditioner on my twins’ house.
Read more about why this is essential in case of blackouts at home
Visit Mike’s RVelectricity Forum on RVtravel.com.
Video of the day
RV furnace operation and preventive maintenance
By Cheri Sicard
Mark Polk of RV Education 101 has produced an invaluable video about your RV’s furnace, how it operates, and preventive maintenance tips to keep it running efficiently.
Forget single-use hand warmers, these are better
If your hands are always cold, this is for you! These rechargeable hand warmers are a perfect gift for anyone who spends time outdoors in the cold. The hand warmers have three levels of temperatures and warm up on both sides quickly. The warmers are charged via USB and can even be used as a power bank to power your cell phone and other devices. Stay warm with these.
RV Tire Safety
Have a broken wheel stud? Here is what I would do…
By Roger Marble
I recently read a post about someone discovering a broken wheel stud on their RV. The wheel had been changed after there was a tire problem and the reported labor done at the tire shop is suspect. In my experience, studs get broken from car crashes or over-tightening of the lug nuts. Here is what Roger recommends for a broken or missing wheel stud.
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 4 of 13: Your next step is to determine where you and your passengers would meet if a fire occurred. A preset meeting place at each destination will help to quickly determine if everyone has safely exited the coach.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
Creamy Turkey & Noodles
by Mary Philio from Montgomery, TX
Need to use up extra turkey? Try this creamy turkey and noodles recipe. Mary is right. This dish has so much wonderful flavor. The sauce is so creamy. Mixing a packet of gravy with cream cheese adds some tang and a savory flavor. Mixing in chopped bacon brings the dish over the top with its smoky taste. Next time, we’re going to try Mary’s fried onions suggestion.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Cooper, our Aussie Shepherd, has grown up camping. From seven weeks of age, he has been on the road. He is a super traveler, never making a sound when on the highway.” —Tracy Lauth
Makes a great gift!
Keep your beer, soda or other canned beverages cold… in style!
How cute are these incredible puffer jacket can coolers? Acting like mini coolers, they won’t let your beverage get warm or your hand get cold! They’re perfect for sitting outside around the campfire. They’d make a perfect gift for the beer, soda and sparkling water lover in your life, especially if they love the great outdoors! Learn more or order.
What’s one thing that’s always found on the ground but never gets dirty?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
Movie theater popcorn costs more per ounce than filet mignon in the U.S.
Laugh of the Week
Don’t toss away good batteries!
Most RVers rely on battery-powered devices — flashlights, radios or cameras. But sometimes we can’t tell how much life a battery has LEFT so we toss it. This inexpensive tester will alert you in an instant to a battery’s condition, saving you money from tossing ones with plenty of remaining life! Works on AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button-type batteries. Learn more or order.
“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.
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.
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.
Attention writers and publicists
We have paid (and volunteer) freelance and staff positions available for writers, editors and PR experts. Must have experience, be creative, ethical, highly motivated, know RVs and the lifestyle inside out, and be eager to make a difference in the lives of RVers (we have an immediate need for someone to write a daily RV review). Journalism training a plus. Interested? Contact publisher Chuck Woodbury at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him about yourself. If you are not especially talented at any of these skills, please do not apply.
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: Mike Sokol, Roger Marble, Tony Barthel, 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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We made thru shutterfly photo journal albums. Unfortunately we need to remove all pictures from them because they are now going to start charging us or we loose all photos and memories of those times. Sucks but what can one do. It use to be under Kodak.
Regarding propane. Never buy at Ace hardware as it is usually over 4.00 per gallon. Uhaul and Tractor Supply are good places to check. If you are in remote towns always try to find a supplier for the area however they are normally closed on weekends. Can be a better cost than a local gas station.
We found that small town local feed stores have lower propane prices.
I think hats and koozies would be popular.