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February 25, 2023
NEAR HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, THIS WEEKEND?
If so, consider attending our superstar columnist Dave Solberg’s free seminars at the Harrisburg RV Show. The show opens at 9 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center at 2300 N Cameron Street. Be there or be square!
Why I write for RVtravel.com
By Nanci Dixon
Recently, at one of our RVtravel.com staff and writers’ meetings (yes, we are real RV people, not artificial intelligence [AI] “androids”!), someone asked why we write for RVtravel.com and not other publications. They were referencing publications where the pay might be better but the articles don’t need to be as accurate or truthful. I only had to reflect for a moment.
I had been reading, devouring, really, RVtravel.com for years as an ardent RVer long before I ever submitted an article to the newsletter. I am passionate about RVing. From the time I was 15 and saw my first Winnebago Brave, I knew that camping in an RV was what I wanted, no, had to do. From a van converted in the backyard to a truck camper to building a Class C, then two class A’s, I was hooked. I dragged my family with me!
The day I retired we sold our house and all our stuff except for a few mementos and took off in ten-degrees-below-zero weather. These last eight years of full-time RVing have been a gift and an adventure. Recently we have become 3/4-timers, but I can still write from some of the most beautiful spots in the country.
RVtravel.com taught me a lot through those years. The writers are experts. I continue to learn from them. They are real RVers and have extensive backgrounds in operation, maintenance and repair.
Building the van and Class C from the ground up taught me a lot, too. Decades of RVing and seminars have honed my skills, both through mistakes and triumphs. I want to continue to share my learning and expertise with others, particularly those just starting out.
Only in tomorrow’s member’s edition
Publisher Chuck Woodbury reflects on how our lives are like a roll of toilet paper. You may think that sounds silly, but you will almost certainly agree with him once you read his essay. And no, he was not smoking anything when he wrote it! Become a member with a voluntary subscription. Any amount welcome. Receive exclusive content not available in the free, ad-supported edition.
ALSO TOMORROW IN MEMBER’S EDITION: COMPLETE NEWS SECTION
NEXT WEEKEND our weekend newsletters will swap places. The one you are reading now, currently published on Saturdays, will move to Sunday.
We want to know
Have you ever seen a UFO while RVing?
By Cheri Sicard
As RVers, we are often treated to some unparalleled star-watching opportunities that the general public just doesn’t get. But have you ever seen a UFO or some other type of inexplicable phenomenon in the sky?
Tell us here, and read about Cheri’s encounters
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
OMG! RVer needs pry bar to open stuck door on new RV!
By Nanci Dixon
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week we hear from yet more RVers who complain that their RVs are in the shop more than not, and one who’s ready to put his RV up for sale so watch for it on Marketplace because, “I promise it will be a great deal!” One RVer got her new RV home from the dealer and had to use a pry bar to open the door! Plus, why you shouldn’t buy “lightweight junk.” But there’s also lots more praise for mobile service techs and small service centers.
Should you tip campground workers?
By Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh admits to not being a good tipper so she relies on her husband to do the job (and the math). But she wonders: Should campground workers be tipped? What about if they go out of their way to help you? What if they provide over-the-top exceptional service? What if the campground worker helps you park your rig? It all seems tip-worthy… right? Or does it? What do you think?
RV Business: Should you form a formal business entity?
By Randall Brink
With the rise of remote work and the desire for a more flexible lifestyle, more and more people are living and working from an RV. While the freedom and adventure that comes with this lifestyle are certainly appealing, it’s important to consider the myriad legal and financial aspects of running a business from the road as well. One key consideration is forming a business entity, such as an LLC or corporation, which can offer a range of benefits for RV entrepreneurs. Learn about them here.
Not every RVer uses their RV’s toilet the same way… Wait, what?!
By Gail Marsh
“I’m sorry. What did you say?” I thought at first that I’d misunderstood the statement. Up until then, I thought there was only one way to use the RV toilet. I quickly found out that I was mistaken! Turns out, there are two distinct groups of RVers when it comes to using the RV toilet. (At least two groups I’ve discovered. Who knows? There may be more!) Continue reading.
Readers share their WEIRD real-life small-world RVing experiences
By Cheri Sicard
The song says, “It’s a Small World After All.” Last week we asked about your RVing real-life small-world experiences. What do we mean by a real-life small-world experience? Things like meeting friends, or friends of friends, far from home and other strange phenomena that make you think, “Wow! It really is a small world!” … This week we cover the really off-the-wall and weird ones.
HA HA! A WYOMING COWHAND complained to the ranch foreman that he wasn’t feeling well. “What’s the matter?” the foreman asked. “I can’t sleep nights,” the cowhand explained. “I keep dreaming of purple jackrabbits.” The foreman asked “Did you ever see a doctor?” “Nope, just purple jackrabbits.”
Around the Campfire
RVers debate ATVs, other motorized ‘toys,’ in campgrounds
By Gail Marsh
“We love it,” Kyle’s smile beamed. “Having our ATVs with us at the campground when we camp has opened up a whole new side of the RVing experience.” Kyle’s wife agreed. “Remember when the kids just wanted to look at their phones the entire camping weekend? Now they can’t wait to get outside!” We never used to see so many motorized vehicles such as ATVs inside campgrounds. It seems like more and more folks are bringing motorcycles, minibikes, 4-wheelers, and other toys to the campground. So, what do RVers think about all this movin’ and shakin’? Our campfire discussion revealed two distinctly opposite opinions.
Are you a member of Facebook? Join the RV Electricity group! Great information!
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- RV lighting: Get it right!
- How to conquer the fear of breaking down in remote areas
- Handy tips and tricks for using TV trays while RVing
- Off-grid RV kitchen tips to extend boondocking time
- Use these six words when buying an RV
Are you ever missing out!
What’s RVtravel.com’s most popular newsletter? It’s not this one. It’s our Monday through Friday RV Daily Tips. The percentage of subscribers who open each issue’s email reminder notice is the highest of all our newsletters. They love all the incredibly valuable tips and advice, delivered concisely every weekday morning. If you don’t already read it, why not give it a try? Just click here, type in your name and email address, and you’re good to go. Easy unsubscribe if it’s not your cup of tea.
Why my “caveman TV” is better than any other TV
By Lucinda Belden
Campfires are the places we can gather around and share stories. I prefer adopting the term my brother uses for contained, shared fires—a “caveman TV.” Flames flicker against the black of night while faces glow in the dark room of space. Words float across the span of hot light, but they are our words. Not words from a TV program. Continue reading this insightful message.
Wacky, weird UFO sites to visit in the U.S.
By Gail Marsh
Recently, U.S. F-16 and F-22 fighter jets shot down three “UFOs” flying over North American airspace. The Pentagon recently reported that the U.S. government has received more than 350 reports of UFOs since 2021. (The government names these sightings as “unidentified aerial phenomena.”) Even if you’re not a UFO enthusiast, this news is certainly intriguing. It reminds me of the fascinating places you can visit and learn more about UFOs right here in the USA. Learn about them here.
Southern Arizona’s “best-preserved” ghost town
By Dave Helgeson
This month we will travel to Ruby, Arizona. Ruby is another private ghost town located in southern Arizona, as was last month’s featured ghost town of Castle Dome, AZ. Snowbirds wintering in the Tucson area may want to pay it a visit before heading home this spring. Since it has been privately cared for since its demise in the early 1940s, there is much to see and is well worth a visit. “Ruby is the best of the hundreds of Arizona ghost towns or at least the best-preserved of the many in Southern Arizona”—per the Southern Arizona Guide. Continue reading.
Ha Ha! Bumper sticker spotted in Arizona: “Old fishermen never die, they just smell like it!”
For Lovers Only…
“To the young girl that took this young boy to have and hold to finally straightening me out and making me a husband, man and father out of, I say this!! Thank you and I love you forever!! So far 56 years and counting!”
To: Rubber Ducky
From: Cowboy Bill
“44 years together! I love you more with every passing day. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
These are the last of our submissions. Thank you for sharing your love with us; it’s been fun! This feature will be back next February.
When you travel to a new place, what do you most like to do first?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
PREPARE FOR HOT WEATHER AHEAD
Not enough power to run your air conditioner? Think again!
In the summer heat if your 110 power is from a small portable generator or a 20-amp household hookup, you’re out of luck running an air conditioner. That is, unless you have a SoftStartRV. It’s inexpensive, simple to install, and makes running your A/C possible when you never could before. Used and endorsed by RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury. Learn more or order at discount price.
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.
Click here to see if your RV made it into today’s issue.
How would you like to win a LEGO RV Set?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (February 25, 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.
Click here to enter or see last week’s winner!
RVers who carry a firearm should pack this along to save them from trouble
The new 2023 edition of the annual Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States is hot off the press. It covers all the basics for armed travel. What is legal in one state could be a felony in another. This book should be used as a reference before entering a new state to avoid trouble. Read more about the book here.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) batteries: Who is telling the truth?
- How can I access the RV’s shower faucet to change it?
- Nightmare Dometic refrigerator journey!
- What is the best battery setup for boondocking?
- Why does my RV’s air conditioner hum but it won’t start?
Click here to see more questions for Dave.
Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
Learning programs from the Escapees RV Club
RVers Online University will make sure you are ready for the challenges of RV life whether you are a weekend camper, a full-time RVer, or anywhere in between. In these courses, the club takes its famous RVers Boot Camp program and expands it with additional content. Two popular courses: • RV Operation, Safety and Maintenance • Roadmap to Full-Time RVing . . . Learn more or sign up.
In the RV Shop with Dustin
Cool Tool for RVers:
RV diagnostics easy with the Sperry Wire Tracker
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 and we believe they will be helpful to you. This clip is from one of our latest videos where we discuss the Sperry Wire Tracker. A Sperry Wire Tracker is a tool designed to help you identify wires in a circuit by sending a signal down the wire and using a receiver to detect the signal. This can be a useful tool for RV diagnostics, especially when dealing with electrical issues. Watch the video.
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Okay, now THIS is handy. It’s made for traveling, which means it’s made for RVers, which means it’s absolutely the perfect space-saver. Brilliant, we tell you! Brilliant!
Big spring runoff could mean mini-gold rush in Mother Lode streams
By Randall Brink
As RV prospectors plan their late spring and early summer travels in the Western USA, it is a good time to consider a trip to historic California Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada range…. [T]he annual snowmelt runoff in the Sierra Nevada Mountains continues to release gold into the rivers and streams of the region from deposits in the high country. This renewal of gold deposits in the creeks and rivers of Gold Country offers great opportunities for modern gold prospectors. Learn more.
RV Tire Safety
Improper trailer brake setting can cause “flat-spotting” on tires
This content is available only to our members.
Another popular story about RV tires from Roger: Why a safety margin on tire inflation is important
NEW! Dr. Karel’s Krazy Kritter Korner
A noble ‘Prime Mouser’ cat, a doggie condo, and a wonderful three-legged school project
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
This week Karel posts some stories from RVers regarding their “disappearing” cats, and one whose cats respond to Reveille and Taps at a campground at a military base. You’ll never guess why! Also, read about “Larry the Cat—A better pawlitician than 12 years of British prime ministers!” And learn about the wonderful students at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota, who tackled a project that would give Sadie, a sweet 8-year-old, three-legged dog, the support she would need as she enters her senior years. Those and more here.
Recipe of the Day
Honey Garlic Boneless Chops
by Cassie from Somewhere, PA
These boneless pork chops are a perfect, quick, and easy weeknight meal your whole family will enjoy. The pork chops are slightly sweet and savory at the same time. The sauce reminds us of Teriyaki, but not as sweet. Cooking the pork chops under the broiler makes the edges nice and caramelized.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Chaka Khan was a two-month-old kitten when we got her. Her first trip was a 9-hour car ride to her new home. Now she loves to travel with us whenever we take our Class B van out. She has proven to be a real trooper.” —Rachel Clermont
PLEASE NOTE: Beginning next week, this feature will move to our member’s edition.
If 3 cats can catch 3 bunnies in 3 minutes, how long will it take 100 cats to catch 100 bunnies?
(Answer in tomorrow’s Sunday news newsletter. And please don’t spoil it for other readers by posting the answer in the comments.)
In 1955, Johnny Cash gave Carl Perkins the line “Don’t step on my blue suede shoes.” Cash heard it while standing in a chow line in the service. Perkins wrote the song a few days later after noticing a man struggling to keep his girlfriend off his blue suede shoes at a sorority dance. Elvis Presley’s recording of “Blue Suede Shoes” was the first song to become a hit on three charts: R&B, country and pop. (Now do you feel like listening?)
Laugh of the Week
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
Meet Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of RVtravel.com friend R.L. Crabb.
We have exhausted our supply of Roadskills cartoons. We’ll try to get our friend R.L. Crabb, the creator, to dig around to find more.
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, Janet Groene, Machelle James, 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.
RVtravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.
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This newsletter is copyright 2023 by RV Travel LLC.
I have never tipped with cash, but often give camp workers candy bars, cans of pop or sparkling water, and in general go out of my way to praise their help or excellence!
Under RV tire safety
you must be a member to read ?
I’m guessing only paying subscribers?
not that I’m curious how to not flat spot my tires.
I think I figured that out when I was 6
That’s correct, Jack. There will be some features available only in the members (i.e., donors) edition of the weekend newsletters. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
This newsletter was once a place where we shared the hints and tricks about RV life. Then the advertisements started. Then the ads became more numerous than the articles. Now a subscription is needed to see some of the good stuff. I am not putting Chuck down for being a capitalist. I am just sad to see a resource that was about sharing information amongst fellow enthusiasts move in to a money making enterprise.
Sorry, Keira. It’s not really much of a “money-making enterprise,” however. There’s enough to pay the staff and writers and that’s about it. A very small percentage (something like 7%?) of our readers donate (and we appreciate them immensely!), so the only other source of income is necessarily ads. Not sure what else we can do, and I’m not involved in the management or financial end of things. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
It won’t be long before some, maybe all, of us who are non-subscribers will abandon this newsletter. Does anyone in management care, or is it all about the dollar? I’ve read many times from Chuck that it isn’t about the dollar. But actions speak louder than words. Or lack of words = lack of altruistic principles.
For an animal’s safety, your own safety, and those around you, never have an animal on the dash ( or sitting in the driver’s lap) while moving down the road!
Thanks to Mr. R. L. Crabb for many chuckles in the past!