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January 28, 2023
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Thank you 16 million times!
By Chuck Woodbury
FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER
Sometime today our readers will have contributed a total of 200,000 (approved) comments to articles on this website. As I write now on Friday afternoon, the tally stands at 199,821, so we’re almost there. If I were to take a wild guess I’d estimate the average length of each comment is about 80 words. If that’s somewhere in the ballpark, then we’re talking about 16 million words written by our readers in response to the 18,000+ articles on this website!
As my late friend Al Kepler, who hailed from New Jersey, would have said, “Dat der is a lot of words!”
These impressive stats are only for the last seven years, starting in April 2016, when we reset our website counter to zero with a newly designed format. We lost about 15 years of comments then, now floating somewhere in distant cyberspace. Our dedicated associate editor, copy editor and proofreader, Diane McGovern, has moderated most of these comments. Many of you know Diane: She responds to hundreds of comments each year. Oh, most of our staff responds to comments at times, but Diane is our heavy hitter.
If you have read RVtravel.com for long, you know that we have battled to keep the conversation civil. We booted a few readers out in recent times — mostly angry geezer know-it-alls whose purpose in life is to pick fights. That got real tiresome to us and I know to you, too. Several years ago I purchased the domain IdiotsWithKeyboards.com, which I intended to one day dedicate to such mean-spirited humans. I may still do it.
More than 97.4 percent of you, thankfully, are the kindest people on Earth, some of you now friends. We know hundreds of you by name and benefit from your advice and wisdom. Some, who I appreciate hugely, serve as unofficial fact checkers and proofreaders by telling us when we mess up: You help us look good, and the information we present accurate. Thanks a whole bunch!
Okay, I’m signing off for now, our last Saturday issue in January. Where did the month go? Where do they all go, for that matter??
UPDATE: Comment number 200,000 came in this morning (Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023) at 11:01 a.m., Pacific time.
P.S. If you believe there is value in the information we provide you throughout the year, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber to RVtravel.com by pledging your support, no matter how modest? Every contribution helps enable us to serve you better. Learn more here.
We want to know
What is your favorite RV kitchen gadget or accessory?
By Cheri Sicard
Calling all RV cooks! This week we want to know about your kitchen gadgets. Cooking in a small space can present challenges sometimes. What makes it easier for you? What is the one RV kitchen gadget or RV kitchen accessory you just cannot live without and why? We’ll do a follow-up article with a compilation of the most popular RV kitchen gadgets that you use and recommend next week.
Today’s RV review…
2023 Wildwood Heritage Glen 308RL trailer by Forest River
The Wildwood Heritage Glen 308RL travel trailer and fifth wheel by Forest River is a high-quality, triple-slide RV that offers a combination of durable construction, attention to design and a comfortable interior. As Josh Winters explains in this video, the RV is on a flat deck, which might appeal to RVers with mobility issues.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Air horn blows when wipers, lights and more are engaged. What the heck?
By Nanci Dixon
This week we hear from several “happy campers” who report very good things about their used RVs, and their service centers and mobile RV technicians. But we also hear from RVers who found out the hard way that their local RV brand dealer didn’t have to honor their warranty because they’re “independent.” And we hear about the saga of a helpful dealership but not-so-helpful warranty company when several things went wrong on this RV, including the air horn blowing when different accessories were turned on. Yikes! Read about these reports and more here.
Beware the “ultra-lite” RV
By Ross Regis
I just returned from the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, Florida. Over four days, I toured hundreds of trailers and coaches, from $15,000 pop-ups (Formica counters) to $1,500,000 Prevost bus conversions (Carrara marble counters). I noticed that one of the RV industry’s favorite misspelled words is “Lite.” … This post [is] a word of caution to all RV shoppers that “Lite” is a slippery sales word, a verbal sticker that can be slapped on any RV regardless of its poundage. If you’re truly looking for an ultra-lite RV, you need to look beyond the brochure. Read this important information.
RVtravel.com’s BEST RV YouTube channels awards
Ever wonder what YouTube channel RVers love and watch the most? In these best RV YouTube channel awards, Cheri Sicard organizes your favorites by topic: Repair and maintenance, RV reviews, RV lifestyle, travel-centric, building/remodeling/restoring, budget RVing and so much more, including the best YouTube channels for RVers overall. See who takes first place.
What did the chicken say when he met the Costco shopper? ANSWER: Nothing, because it was cooked, and for sale for $4.99 on a rotisserie. Guess what percentage of RVtravel.com readers have ever bought and eaten a Costco rotisserie chicken? Approximately 22 percent, 47 percent or 69 percent? Find out.
Can you RV camp at a military campground?
By Paul Stimers
Are you or a member of your family on active military duty? Are you retired or disabled? If you are, did you know you’re eligible to camp on military campgrounds? If you’ve never heard of the program, it’s called the MWR branch. And all branches of service have one. It stands for the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) branch. Learn more.
Video: Why you should not tailgate. Oh, dear!
Have you noticed that a lot of drivers tailgate the vehicle ahead of them these days? You might wonder how they can be even remotely comfortable traveling right on the tail of the motorist ahead of them. Well, here’s a good reminder of what can happen when you are so close to the driver ahead that if he or she suddenly stops, you’re in a heap of trouble — there is simply no time to hit your own brakes to avoid slamming into the stopped car. Watch this dramatic video.
Around the Campfire
RVers discuss outdoor RV lights: On or off?
By Gail Marsh
We joined the campfire discussion a bit late this week, but it was easy to tell what folks were discussing: exterior RV lights. “No one told me,” Janet complained. “It’s not listed in the campground rules or on signs around the camp either. How was I to know?” Bob shook his head. “It’s common sense! When you go to bed you turn out the lights. ALL the lights. That includes outside RV lights. People are trying to sleep!” Only the fire’s occasional snap and pop sounded in the uncomfortable silence that followed. … Can you come up with a compromise?
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletters
- 16 ways bungee cords can make RVing life easier
- Make Welcome Centers your first stop when crossing state lines
- Navigating diverging diamond interchanges in your RV
- Getting your rig safely to the bottom of that long grade
- A smart way to organize your RV’s closet and get rid of what you don’t need
All-electric RVs—Boon or bane for boondockers?
By Dave Helgeson (very longtime boondocker)
We have all seen the headlines for all-electric RVs: “Explosive growth in everything electric,” “All-electric Lightship RV coming this spring,” “All-electric RVs are here,” and many more. Some feel this will be a utopia. … However, what about those of us that prefer dry camping in the boondocks far from RV parks where you can plug in? Will all-electric RVs spell an end to those that enjoy camping off the grid … or will it make boondocking easier than ever? Read more then tell us what you think.
The story behind America’s beloved Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
By Gail Marsh
Chances are you’ve eaten there or perhaps parked your RV overnight in their parking lot. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a favorite restaurant for folks who love homestyle comfort food. It’s also a fun place to shop for toys, clothing, snacks, and more! Have you ever wondered how this iconic business started? Me, too! Learn all about it here.
Old recipe, Bannock, an easy-to-make bread for RVers
By Randall Brink
Last year I published several RVtravel.com articles on camp cookery and the use of sourdough for creating the best traditional camp fare. This year, we’ll continue to feature simple and savory traditional camp cooking that can be done over the fire, camp stove, or RV oven, if you have one. We’re starting with Bannock … a very old and very simple bread type with few ingredients that you can put together in minutes and enjoy. Yum!
RV boo-boos: Backing up in the dark without a spotter
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Reader Dennis G. got an emergency call-out. His aging mother had a medical emergency, and his Class A was the ideal choice for getting there. What wasn’t ideal was arriving at Mom’s place near midnight, and having to back into the driveway without a spotter. Uh oh. (Note: Images are in the post, not on Instagram.)
Reader Poll (Article with a poll)
Do you have a dedicated work space in your RV?
Today’s poll looks a little different. Please read Randall Brink’s article about mobile offices (click the “Tell us here” button), then tell us if you have a designated office or work space in your RV. After you’ve voted, please use the form provided and submit a photo of your space. We’d like to see (and no, we don’t care if it’s messy!).
POPULAR POLL FROM THIS PAST WEEK
We asked: Have you pulled off the highway with your RV because of high winds? See how nearly 2,000 other RVers answered.
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 this collapsible stool?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (January 28, 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.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
How do we educate the RV consumer about towing capacity?
I would hope, with camping season coming up, that current and future RV owners would and should understand better what they are already towing or about to. I bring this up because we know that RV dealers just want to sell RVs. The car dealerships are pretty much the same way. I blame the consumer for not doing a thorough search about the art of RVing. Read the rest of Bob’s letter and Dave’s very important and informative response.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Can I swap my RV’s manual driver seat base for an electric one?
- How long can my RV’s residential fridge run before generator takes over to recharge?
- Wire from converter to batteries—How long can it be?
- RV’s underbelly filling up with water. How do I find the source?
- Which portable air compressor is best for winterizing an 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!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Imagine sitting in the desert drinking wine… well… This might have something to do with that!
In the RV Shop with Dustin
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.)
Having a towing maintenance kit could save your trip
By Dustin Simpson
Every Wednesday we meet for a livestream called Talkin’ RV Tech. We not only answer technical questions, but we also share what we like to call “cool tools.” These are tools and gadgets that we actually use! We also believe they will be helpful to you. This clip is of one of our latest shares: Towing Maintenance Kits. Learn why they are essential here.
Wednesday: RV repair and maintenance chat
Your RV repair and maintenance questions answered live
Our three tech experts, Dave, Dustin and Zach, will answer your questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from 4-5 p.m. Pacific time (7-8 p.m. in the East). So pick their brains via chat. Ask questions about RV repair and maintenance or just lurk and soak up all the valuable information. Learn where to watch in Wednesday’s newsletter.
Video of the day
RV cargo weight NOT to exceed 1,550 lbs.? WHAT? Are they kidding?!
By Cheri Sicard
Joshua from Gander Flight discovered something absolutely unacceptable and something that anyone considering this particular rig needs to be aware of. And you should definitely check out any rig for this…
This is insane! [i.e., This does not compute!]
RV Tire Safety
Roger Marble was asked a question on an RV Tire forum about tire load ratings charts and why the numbers are inconsistent: “So the question is, why do the single tire increments vary from 140 lbs. to 230 lbs., and the duals vary from 230 lbs. to 410 lbs.? Can you explain? Does setting tire pressures really have to be this exact? And which way is correct? You would think that both would have the same results, but nah-Baby-nah.”
Sewer fitting grip help! Gadget to the rescue!
If you find the bayonet mounts for your sewer hose connections are getting a bit hard to twist off and on (hate to say it, but it sometimes comes with age), here’s a tool that might help. An adjustable oil filter wrench, made to get a grip around automotive oil filters, can also provide a handy grip and plenty of leverage on the bayonet fitting of your sewer hose, and the termination cap as well. Here’s one we recommend.
Recipe of the Day
by Kelly Allen from Philadelphia, PA
With just the right amount of heat and tons of flavor, these simple shrimp quesadillas are the perfect meal-in-a-flash! We love the slick kick from the super gooey pepper jack cheese. Adobo seasoning is added to the guacamole which gives it a nice smoky flavor with a little heat. A perfect complement to the cheesy quesadillas. A quick and easy dish to make.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Bella the Papillon loves balls and people. Never met a stranger she didn’t like. She’ll play fetch for hours (not an exaggeration). If she’s not fetching… she wants in your lap.” —Julia Hanley
What starts with a P, ends with an E and has thousands of letters?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
When you cross the Yukon/Alaska border on the Alaska Hwy., you are 750 miles west of Los Angeles, CA.
Laugh of the Week
A California winery managed to create a new type of wine by crossing Pinot Blanc with Pinot Grigio. As a side effect, it reduces the number of times people need to get up to pee during the night. It is being marketed in retirement homes around the world as Pinot More!
“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.
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!
Fire-resistant bag keeps valuables safe!
This silicone-coated fire-resistant bag will save your money, documents, jewelry, passport and other valuables from a fire. Its two layers of supreme fire retardant fiberglass material make it resist fire and heat up to 2000℉. It’s waterproof, too, so when the hoses arrive, your valuables won’t be harmed. Learn more or order.
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, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola and Jeff Clemishaw. 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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