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December 24, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Merry Christmas to all…
By Emily Woodbury
it’s Christmas Eve and I hope you are reading this someplace cozy, surrounded by friends and family, your partner, your dog, your cat…
I hope there’s a soft chime of Christmas music playing in the background and something delicious cooking in the oven. I hope you are warm, and healthy, and grateful for all the things mentioned above.
If this year looks different for you, if you are not warm, or healthy, or surrounded by friends and family, this space is for you too.
This year, much like the past two, has presented new challenges. Prices are high, gifts may be fewer, and miles traveled may also be fewer.
Things that are always free to give: love, kindness, a smile, a wave, a hug, your favorite book off your bookshelf, a phone call…
We’ve been working hard to try and define ourselves here at RVtravel.com. Who are we really? What’s the point of all this? Why do we do what we do? I think much of it boils down to community.
If you have an RV, whether it’s a big Class A that you live in full-time, or whether it’s a small pop-up trailer that you and your family take out on the weekends, or whether you live in an RV because it’s your only option or place of shelter, it doesn’t matter. One thing we always say: We’re all human. Our community is for everyone.
We won’t have a newsletter tomorrow, but we wish you the Merriest of Christmases. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa to those celebrating beginning on Monday, and Happy Winter Solstice to the otherwise non-celebrators.
Whatever your day may be, wherever you are and however you’re spending it—may it be merry and bright.
Also, please note that today’s newsletter is shorter than usual. As hard as it is, we’re trying to work a little less this week. Wink. 😉
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!
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.
Please note: This is the last edition of this contest. Stay tuned for new contests coming in 2023.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
9 major problems with brand-new unit: ‘Glass panels fell out of overhead storage compartments’
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week we hear lots of praise from happy customers of service centers and RV dealers. How refreshing! But, of course, there are also complaints about poorly made RVs. You won’t believe (or maybe you will) some of these extensive lists of problems.
These were our top 10 most popular articles in 2022
*Please note that some of these are news stories that may not be up-to-date or are from events already passed, but they may still be of interest to you.
10. Found inside a barn, this perfectly preserved RV is an amazing 1955 time capsule
By Paul Lacitinola
This 1955, 24-foot Boles Aero Ensenada was sitting in the back of a massive barn on a wheat farm in eastern Oregon. This was a real barn find! … Not one piece or part was missing or broken. The original curtains, Venetian blinds, upholstery, knobs, gaskets, and Bakelite handles were all there. All of it! And even more amazing, each and every item was in perfect condition, including the beautiful birch interior. Read more and check out the pictures here.
9. Reward offered by BLM for rock greasers
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification and conviction of those responsible for greasing the handholds at the Big Bend Bouldering Area upstream from the Big Bend Campground. On Feb. 14, the BLM was notified that petroleum-based grease was smeared on the climbing handholds at the popular recreation area north of Moab along the Colorado River in Grand County. More. [We don’t think they’re found the culprits yet. Do you know anything?]
8. Norcold to shut down all U.S. refrigerator manufacturing
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A definite chill has set in for more than 350 Norcold refrigerator manufacturing employees. The chill isn’t coming from the cooling units. Instead, these hundreds of employees will soon be laid off as Thetford, Norcold’s parent company, says it’s moving all U.S. refrigerator production “to other global company owned and operated manufacturing facilities.” … What effect will Norcold’s out-of-country transfer have on RV refrigerator consumers? Learn more.
7. Ghost Town shootout puts RV campgrounds in the crosshairs
By Andy Zipser
Through the latter part of the 20th century, one of the biggest tourist attractions in western North Carolina was Ghost Town in the Sky, a Wild West-themed amusement park that at its peak drew half a million visitors each year. … For the past two decades, however, the Ghost Town in the Sky has lived up to its name in unintended fashion after it was shut down altogether. Now there are proposed big changes in the works that have the locals in Maggie Valley in an uproar. Learn more.
6. Around the Campfire: To grease or not to grease a trailer’s hitch ball?
By Gail Marsh
To grease or not to grease a trailer’s hitch ball? That was the question around the campfire a few nights ago. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about greasing the trailer’s hitch ball, and were eager to share in the discussion. Read more.
5. Low-income people turning to RVs, while RV parks change with the times
Two unrelated developments this past week affecting two RV parks … illustrate two trends on a collision course. The first trend is that of low-income people increasingly turning to RVs for permanent housing. The second is that RV parks are now tracing the same inflationary curve as the trailer courts that preceded them. Some are shutting down, for a variety of reasons, and many more are either restricting or phasing out long-term residents altogether; almost all are increasing rents, in the most extreme cases doubling their previous rates. Read more from Andy Zipser.
*PLEASE NOTE: No newsletter tomorrow.
4. Trailer magically appears on remote Ohio River sandbar
Nobody knows how this travel trailer ended up on a sandbar Thursday in the middle of the Ohio River in Evansville, Indiana. The sandbar had only been there a few days, the byproduct of annual river dredging conducted by the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The RV was not there when a crew finished on the river Wednesday evening around 5 p.m. But when they returned Thursday, there it was. Read hilarious comments about how it got there.
3. Feds crack down on portable generators
An agency of the federal government is cracking down on portable generators, which according to ProPublica can emit as much carbon monoxide as 450 cars and which kill an average of 80 people in the U.S. each year, sometimes RVers. The action comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some generators used by RVers are affected (but some are not). Read more.
2. RVers toss in keys! Costs up, campsites down—perfect storm
RVtravel.com’s longtime friend and occasional contributor Mike Sherman emailed this message to his friends, family and us at RVtravel.com. We’re passing it along because we know others are doing the same, already have, or will be doing the same thing in the days and months ahead. Read what Mike wrote.
1. Reserved but empty campsites: The campground’s side of the story
By Nanci Dixon
There are two sides to every story, right? Well, that means there’s another side to why there are so many empty campsites. You’ll find the other side of that story behind the campground check-in desk. Continue reading.
On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your 2022?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
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.
How would you like to win a Mini Keurig Coffee Maker?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 24, 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!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Oh, this is what you’ve always wanted! We know you’ve wished for this year after year. You can’t deny it! Well, now’s your time!
TOP 5! These were our top 5 most popular Daily Tips articles in 2022
- Don’t throw out your pringles can! Use it these 11 ways in your RV (Yep, this was the most popular, all right!)
- You can be TOO nice of a campsite neighbor. Don’t do these four things.
- 21 unusual but brilliant uses for Dawn dish soap in your RV
- You should be using broom holders in your RV (and not just for holding brooms!)
- 22 tips and gadgets to make the most of a small RV kitchen
Recipe of the Day
Don’t forget to leave cookies out for Santa!
Nana Rose’s Butter Fingers
by Ceree Fetter from Oxford, MI
An old-fashioned cookie recipe that will be delicious at Christmas, but they’re so good you’ll make them year-round. The cookie is almost like a shortbread. Buttery and not overly sweet, they’re very delicate. Dipping them in chocolate adds just the right amount of sweetness. We loved the flavor from the crushed nuts.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Dash is a rescue from Walker County Animal Shelter in AL, where our grandkids work. It took him a while to get used to us but now he feels quite at home! This is where he travels too!” —Mike and Donna Pheneger
It was Queen Victoria who sent the first Christmas card. However, the first commercial Christmas card was sent in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole produced 1,000 and sold them for one shilling each. Read more about the first Christmas card here.
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. We have just heard on the news that donations to Food Lifeline (a member of Feeding America) are down 75% this year. Millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, are going hungry. If you have ever considered donating, now is the time. If you contribute regularly, thank you! You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Find a local food bank here.
Laugh of the Week
Yes, we share this every year on Christmas Eve, but how could we not?! Each year we love it more and more!
“RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a 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?
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 and Johnny Robot. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. 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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Diane McGovern has always proven (to me) to be the adult in the room, and I appreciate her tone and tenor for the comments and responses that she makes. I hope that she gets everything that she wishes for this holiday season….as she sure does deliver to the readers. Thanks Diane!
Wow! I’m blushing, Larry. Thank you very much! (And folks, I only had to pay him a little $$ to say that. 😉 ) I hope you and yours have a beautiful Christmas Day, and a very healthy and absolutely terrific 2023. Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
While my wife, Rose, and I celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary today, we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2023 be better than 2022 and as Roy Rogers used to say “Happy Trails”.
Happy 51st anniversary to you & Rose. We are also celebrating 51 years and everyone calls me Rosy!
Wishing everyone a blessed Merry Christmas and New Year. May it be warmer when needed, cooler when needed, time to meet up with new and old friends and most of all, enjoy and be safe.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Such a beautiful letter to the readers in today’s issue.
Wishing everyone a happy New Year!
Thank you, Diane. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and healthy and happy 2023. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Merry/Happy (insert choice here) to all of you as well. I’ve been reading your newsletter for years, enjoying some, skipping over what doesn’t apply to or interest me. Like how you don’t take sides on manufacturers or vendors, just looking out for our best interests. However, I would like to take exception to your comment at the top, “we wish you the Merriest of Christmases. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa to those celebrating beginning on Monday, and Happy Winter Solstice to the otherwise non-celebrators.” Just because one is not Christian, Jewish or African American does not mean one is a “non-celebrator”. Are you aware that there are more Wiccans in America than there are Presbytarians? And we celebrate Yule at this time of year. What about Indigenous Americans? By analogy, your statement would seem to indicate that unless one owns a Thor, Forest River or Winnebago branded RV (the newest Big 3), we’re not really RVers. And then there’s truck campers lol
Sorry, Maurice. We didn’t mean to exclude anyone. It was worded incorrectly, obviously, or you (and probably others) wouldn’t have interpreted it as you did. We wish EVERYONE, no matter what they celebrate or even if they don’t celebrate anything, a very happy holiday season, a happy final week of December and 2022, a happy and healthy life going forward. (Did I forget anyone or anything? 😉 ) Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Merry Christmas to everyone.
And happy holidays to non-Christians and those who don’t believe Santa, the Easter Bunny, or gods are real.
Have a Christmas everyone. Thanks for all the great articles and all your hard work. Stay safe my friend’s.
Thank you very much, Michael. We appreciate your kind words. It’s feedback like this that encourages us to continue to improve on what we provide to our great readers. We wish you a yours a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and terrific 2023. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com