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January 7, 2023
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Re-wilding: Becoming curious about the big, wide world
By Emily Woodbury
fter many years of living smack-dab in the center of New York City, I returned to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and settled back into a place I thought I knew.
Washington is a place where you can be in a desert (yes, with rattlesnakes), in the mountains, in a rainforest, on the beach of an island, or in a bustling city all within two hours. That’s why so many people love it here. That’s what makes it so special. It’s a hard place to get bored of, or in.
While I once thrived on the loud, busy streets—the constant action perpetuated me into spirals of more, more, more—I now thrive in peace, solitude, pine trees, morning light…
When I moved back, I hiked my favorite, familiar trails, reunited with old friends, visited the same beaches and rode the same ferry routes… but something was different.
With my camera always glued to my hip and a macro lens as its companion (a specific lens that allows you to focus extremely close to something—think insect wings or dew drops), I began seeing the world, my once-familiar world, in a new light. I saw the way the morning sunbeams came through the moss, I saw the dew drops on the ferns, I saw the texture of the mushrooms. I couldn’t believe how beautiful everything was. Once I slowed down, I noticed.
I hung up a bird feeder in my backyard and learned to become friends with the little feathered creatures that visited me. I lost my fear of spiders and other “creepy crawlies” as I look at them, too, as friends. Once us humans realize we’re not “all that,” it’s easy to become friends with, and respect, the other species that share our home. We couldn’t be here without them.
In one of my all-time favorite books, Ishmael, Daniel Quinn writes, “No one species shall make the life of the world its own.’ … That’s one expression of the law. Here’s another: ‘The world was not made for any one species.”
After re-wilding my own soul and owing so much of it to these other lives, how could I ever think I’m better, or above, anything else? That mindset couldn’t be more wrong. How embarrassing.
We want to know
What are your RV New Year’s resolutions?
Happy RV New Year, everyone! This week we want to know about your RV plans for the upcoming year, your “RV New Year’s resolutions,” if you will…. What RV trips or things are you resolved to accomplish in 2023?
Today’s RV review…
The best highlights and features from RVs reviewed in 2022
By Tony Barthel
Once again, it’s time to look back on a year’s worth of RV reviews and pick out some of the highlights. In fact, one of the most encouraging things I’ve seen is that, despite record sales, RV companies are still doing some innovative things. I’m even seeing brand-new floor plans and other signs that the RV industry isn’t resting on its laurels.
Here are a few of my favorite things, to quote the Julie Andrews song. But these are, of course, RV-related.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
‘Taking your RV to the dealer is like playing the lottery and the odds are against you’
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week we again heard from readers with lonnng lists of complaints against service departments and RV manufacturers. But there are also a couple of glowing reviews for shops and mobile service techs. Maybe they’re near you. Find out here.
Majority of RVers turn away from junky-looking RV parks
In an RVtravel.com poll, 63 percent of RVers said they have turned away from an RV park because its entrance looked “junky” or otherwise unappealing. Have you? Read what several of our readers had to say about their experiences with junky RV parks, and some advice to avoid them.
Clogged showerhead cure—courtesy of Walmart
There’s nothing like a good, solid, hot shower after a cold day. Or a day of mechanic-ing, gardening, playing with the grandkids, or whatever. But if you climb in the shower stall and crank up the water, you may find disappointment. That once-upon-a-time high-pressure flush can somehow seem to lose its luster. The tiny jets in showerheads can get clogged. We have the cure for a clogged showerhead. … Read Russ and Tiña De Maris’ easy tip here.
Don’t like guns? Alternatives for self-protection
By Mike Sherman
Do you want to feel protected while camping but you shun guns? There are alternatives that will help you in the event you find yourself under assault, either by an animal, or a human being acting like an animal. Read about them from an expert here.
Around the Campfire
The two kinds of RVers: Two lifestyle choices, one open road
By Gail Marsh
As we travel it seems that we meet two very different kinds of RVers. These RVers have different ideas about what makes for a good campground experience. Folks around the campfire discussed these two groups and the campground best suited for each. See if you agree.
Keep your glove box organized for once!
This glove box organizer will change your life! Find what you need quickly, when you need it. It has six pockets inside and out for your vehicle or RV’s manuals, insurance cards, registrations and more. It even has space for a pen or tire gauge and comes with a notepad. Learn more or order.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- It’s time to plan 2023 RV group trips now—Don’t wait
- A few of the many uses for WD-40
- Safety tips for portable heaters in an RV
- Cables in a tangle? Use this quick tip to tame them
- What phubbing is and why you should avoid it
We very guiltily admit that we somehow overlooked including Gail’s post last week when we asked our writers to share their favorite memories or moments from 2022. Here’s hers (and it’s a very sweet one).
My favorite RV moment in 2022: Seeing our RV through our granddaughter’s eyes
By Gail Marsh
She’d never seen it before. Our 3-year-old granddaughter knew all about our RV, of course. Her older brother and sister often talked about the times they’d spent the night with us in our fifth wheel. Little Chloe was clearly mesmerized at the thought of it. With COVID uncertainty, we traveled less in the past few years and Chloe somehow never got her turn to go with us. … Read Gail’s heartwarming story here.
New book for bike-riding RVers lists campgrounds with bike trails
By Emily Woodbury
We LOVE when our readers (that’s you!) write in. Whether it’s sharing photos, story ideas, sending us your blog, your favorite recipes—anything—it always makes us happy. I got an email from reader Betty Chambers this week asking if we could share her new book, “RVing with Bikes.” I took a look at the book, thought it was certainly worthwhile for bike-riding RVers, and immediately wrote back asking if she wanted to write a short blurb about it for our newsletter. Here’s what Betty said.
Why having no regrets should be an RVer’s mantra
By Gail Marsh
There’s a house in a nearby community that always has a sign posted in its front yard. It’s obvious that the homeowner hand-letters each sign—a process that I imagine is painstakingly done. The sign in the yard began during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back then, encouraging words were posted, like “Don’t give up!” and “This too will pass.” These words put a smile on my face and gave me encouragement during lockdowns, isolation, and closures. Continue reading Gail’s thought-provoking post or you may regret it. (Just kidding.)
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.
The top 5 RV-friendly national parks
By Nanci Dixon
There are many great National Parks to visit in an RV, but the best one for you will depend on your interests, the type of RV and the type of experience you’re looking for. Here are a few of the most popular options. My husband and I have visited all of the ones below and loved each one, all for different reasons. Have you visited these parks?
RV boo-boos: Fifth-wheel turned into pretzel
There’s little we can say about this series of pictures, other than to just emit a sigh. Apparently the fiver driver was making a left turn into an RV park. While he waited his turn, the driver behind him wasn’t paying attention. Unfortunately, that driver was driving a semi. Pretzel, anyone? (You don’t need to be an Instagram member to view the photos.)
How to get a teenager to like camping again
By Nanci Dixon
Even the most ardent RVing families can find their teenager(s) less than excited about upcoming camping trips. We found our RV languished next to the driveway when our kids hit their teenage years. That was both from having a ton of teen activities and a teenage general lack of interest. Grandparents can face the same disappointment when their beloved grandchild shrugs and begs out of a camping trip. There are several ways you can try to help teenagers to enjoy camping again. Learn about them here.
How it Happened
Tracing the history of food trucks: From carts to gourmet mobile kitchens
By Gail Marsh
What a great surprise! We were camped in an off-the-beaten-path campground when a food truck entered the RV park. The truck offered all kinds of Mexican foods: tacos to enchiladas, chips and salsa, to burritos and more! Although we were just passing through, it happened to be Tuesday—the day that Tasty Taco (a food truck) regularly visited the campground. Hooray for us! Hooray for food trucks! Have you ever wondered how food trucks originated? Me, too! Here’s what I discovered about their history…
Where should you camp next? Find out!
This 50-state guide will show you the best campgrounds across the U.S. It gives you a regional, state-by-state breakdown of amazing outdoor accommodations, from campgrounds to RV resorts. It also breaks down campsites by your personality and desired amenities. Now that’s cool! It also highlights regional cuisine, attractions and activities. Learn more or order.
Which do you most often prefer, a well-lighted campground or a dark one?
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: How many years in a row did you work at the same job at the same company? See if you’re as surprised as us at the answers.
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 and writers as they move about the country.
How would you like to win a set of two Collapsible LED Lanterns?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 7, 2023) 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.
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE…
Reader Terry Smith sent us this photo of his RV from Buffalo, NY, last week. Terry wrote, “I am sure you are aware of our snow right now. We are safe in our home but I thought you might enjoy a photo of our RV and tow vehicle parked in its winter spot.” Whew! Stay warm indeed, Terry.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
2023 is all about spoiling yourself, and trust us, this will absolutely spoil you! No more headaches, wrinkles, tired eyes… ever! (We recently had the chance to try this in person, so this recommendation comes from personal experience!)
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- RV black water flush sends water under the shower
- All outlets work except the galley top and bottom. Why?
- Why do my RV’s brakes feel spongy and weak?
- Why did lights and fridge stop operating on generator?
- How do I mount and seal security cameras on roof of RV?
Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
In the RV Shop with Dustin
In this column, head into the RV shop with Dustin Simpson and his wife, Ashley, of California RV Specialists. Each Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Dustin and Ashley will walk you through what’s going on in and around their shop. They’ll share their favorite tools, gadgets, DIY maintenance projects, RV tech talks, what they receive in their inbox, and much, much more. (Not signed up for our daily newsletter? Sign up here.)
Two additional uses for EternaBond tape on your RV
Last month I shared reasons why I don’t recommend utilizing EternaBond tape on your RV roof (outside of using it as a patch). But today, I want to share two additional ways I do recommend using EternaBond tape on your RV. Here they are.
A “cool tool” indeed: The Magnetizer/Demagnetizer
This gadget, recommended by Dave Solberg and Dustin Simpson, instantly magnetizes or demagnetizes steel tools and other small parts. You can convert any tool blade to a magnetic retriever of things like screws, nuts, and metallic particles. No batteries or electricity required. Never lose a screw again! Read more about it here, or buy one for yourself here.
Video of the day
5 crazy, ‘ouch’ RV fails
By Cheri Sicard
RVing can be rewarding and fun. But it can also be challenging, to say the least. The RV fails compilation video below highlights five of the most common yet epic RV fails.
I sincerely hope that nobody reading this will experience any of these problems. But sometimes it’s important to see what can happen so you are sure to avoid similar fates. And to be sure, some of these would be easy to do if you weren’t being careful.
RV Tire Safety
Is it illegal to change tire type or size on an RV?
By Roger Marble
There seems to be a recurring question of whether or not you can change the brand or size or load range of tires on an RV. There are a few individuals who have interpreted the Federal Regulations on tires that apply to the vehicle manufacturer and they want to apply the same regulations to the current owner of the RV.
Since I had to live under Federal Regulations for almost four decades, as I developed and tested many different types and sizes of tires, I do not agree with the idea that owners are prohibited from making changes—with one basic exception.
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 6 of 13: To begin your fire drill, start with everyone seated with seat belts on. From this position, discuss the different ways you could exit the coach without using the main entrance door. Next, have everyone get into their sleeping quarters. Sound the “alarm” using the test button on a detector, a safety whistle or a shout.
Courtesy: Mac “The Fire Guy” McCoy
Recipe of the Day
by Paula Todora from Shell Knob, MO
These low-carb ham and cheese muffins may not be the prettiest, but man are they flavorful. The combination of all the cheeses is fabulous. They’re almost like a mini crustless quiche. The savoriness of the Swiss cheese and ham is the perfect complement to the spinach. The best part is these heat up wonderfully. No excuses to not grab a healthy breakfast. An easy make-ahead breakfast so they’re a perfect meal prep recipe.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bobo, our Parson Russell Terrier, crossed over the rainbow bridge on November 21, 2022, at the age of sixteen. During repairs our first year of RVing (five years ago), the dryer was pulled from the master closet for repairs. Guess who discovered that he not only wanted the master closet to be his space, he loved the ‘window.'” —Lee Ann Bauer
What is so fragile that saying its name breaks it?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
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.
The letter “a” doesn’t appear in any written number until you reach “one thousand.”
Laugh of the Week
“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.
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 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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